Government announces improved NDIS mental health support

People with severe and persistent mental health issues will have improved access and support in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), the Federal Government has announced today.

Minister for Families and Social Services, Paul Fletcher, and Assistant Minister for Disability Services, Sarah Henderson, jointly announced a new 'psychosocial disability stream' for the landmark scheme during World Mental Health Day.

Psychosocial disabilities are those that may arise from severe and persistent mental health issues.

Mr Fletcher said the new stream is a critical step for the NDIS in providing a better pathway and support to about 64,000 Australians with psychosocial disability, as well as their families and carers.

The new stream will be implemented progressively and includes:

  • the employment of specialised planners and Local Area Coordinators;
  • better linkages between mental health services and National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) staff, partners and;
  • a focus on recovery-based planning and episodic needs.

"This reform follows recommendations by the national peak organisation, Mental Health Australia in its National Disability Insurance Scheme Psychosocial Disability Stream Report" Mr Fletcher said.

Assistant Minister Henderson thanked Mental Health Australia and the many stakeholders, including NDIS participants, families and carers, mental health professionals, advocates and partner agencies who informed the report's recommendations.

"The Government is listening to the sector and acting on its recommendations, as we see today with establishment of the new NDIS stream" Ms Henderson said.

Mental Health Australia CEO Frank Quinlan welcomed the Government's announcement and the NDIA's support of the majority of the report's recommendations on World Mental Health Day.

"We're pleased the NDIA and Government is listening to the concerns of NDIS participants and their carers, and will be investing in improving the experience of people with mental health issues under the NDIS. We look forward to working with the NDIA in the further design and implementation of the new psychosocial disability stream" Mr Quinlan said.