A question we hear often is, can I receive support under the NDIS for a mental health condition? The short answer is yes. But there’s a lot you need to understand before applying, which is why we’ve answered all relevant questions below.
What mental health conditions does the NDIS provide support for?
Many mental health conditions are funded under the NDIS. For example, at Therapy Care we support participants living with schizophrenia, bipolar and severe depression. To qualify for support under the NDIS, you must have a psychosocial disability that arises from your mental health condition.
Not everyone who has a mental health condition lives with an associated psychosocial disability. A psychosocial disability can affect your ability to undertake everyday tasks such as accessing the community, banking, shopping and performing personal care.
Living with a mental health condition and psychosocial disability is severe and longstanding. Many who do require daily support to continue living quality lives despite their diagnosis.
How are people’s plans and the finance to support them determined under the NDIS?
A founding principle of the NDIS is: People with disability should be supported to participate in and contribute to social and economic life to the extent of their ability.
Under the NDIS, recovery means a person is able to achieve an optimal state of personal, social and emotional wellbeing while living with a mental health condition.
NDIS plans are developed by professional plan managers hired under the NDIS; who with supporting documentation, will decide what levels of support someone with a mental health condition need for maintained independence and quality of life.
Once that’s determined, they suggest NDIS providers like Therapy Care for the participant to choose from. Or the participant has the option of doing their own research into finding a provider that they deem the best fit for them.
Plans consist of capacity building and core supports. The more support someone needs, the more funding they will receive in their NDIS package which is reviewed every 12-24 months.
Do people receiving funding and services under the NDIS get to choose the providers they seek support from?
The NDIS is all about choice and control. Participants have the right to choose who they receive support services from and how. If you are plan managed, you can use any support services you wish. For those whose plans are NDIA managed, they must use a registered NDIS provider. Participants can choose how their plan is managed in their initial and renewal meetings.
Some participants at Therapy Care have been referred to us from local area coordinators, while others have found us online or been referred to us by members in their community, family, or friends.
What support services are available for people living with mental health conditions?
Plan management (to handle paying the bills)
Support coordination (to assist you in choosing service providers and being linked in with community supports; there are support coordinators trained in mental health)
Assistance with daily activities such as meal preparation, personal care, domestic assistance and house and yard maintenance
Capacity building supports such as recreational therapy, exercise physiology, speech therapy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, and dietician supports
Support to access the community and participate in community activities whether this be in a one on one capacity or through participating in a NDIS provider’s group day program
What’s the first step someone living with a mental health condition takes in order to apply for NDIS funding and support services?
If you think you or a loved one may be living with a mental health condition and think you may have an associated psychosocial disability, contact your local GP who will refer you to a mental health professional. From there, you complete a functional assessment and with the help of the mental health professional, fill out the submission form to the NDIS.
This, along with other supporting documentation such as personal statements or statements written by family, friends and support workers to explain how you carry out everyday tasks is useful. Other documentation and formal assessments given to Centrelink or other government departments can also be helpful.
How does the NDIS model empower people living with disability or mental health conditions to take control of their care plan?
The NDIS empowers people with disability to have a voice and participate actively in our community. It promotes their independence and their choice and control over their service providers, and how they choose to receive support.
Therapy Care participants frequently comment on how much more in control of their lives they feel because of the responsibility and ability to choose.
Do carers receive support under the NDIS?
It is important for carers to understand and be prepared for the NDIS. Participants of the scheme are offered choice and control over the way they purchase and receive their support needs, through individual packages of support.
The NDIS recognises that carers play an important role in supporting a person with disability, and the wellbeing of the family is considered when putting together a plan for participants.
Carers can support the person they care for prepare for the NDIS by ensuring:
The person they care for is supported to access the NDIS
The person they care for receives support that is reasonable and necessary, and right for their situation
You, as the carer of a person with disability who is eligible for the NDIS, receives the appropriate amount of support to continue in your role as someone’s primary carer.
If you have any further questions about NDIS support for mental health conditions, please get in touch with us at email@example.com / 02 9626 8119.