The third meeting of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Mental Health Sector Reference Group (NMHSRG) for 2022 was held on 14 September 2022.
The Chairperson, Dr Gerry Naughtin, welcomed new members to the NMHSRG, and noted apologies. He welcomed Christine Morgan, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Mental Health Commission to the meeting.
He also welcomed John Stanway and Dr Sue Page who are new Strategic Advisors on Health and the Health System Interface with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).
Finally, he welcomed Sandra Higgins, Acting CEO of the Consumers of Mental Health Western Australia (CoMHWA) as the new representative of the National Mental Health Consumer Alliance to the meeting.
The Chair noted that Janet Meagher, a member of the NMHSRG, has recently been one of five international experts who undertook a review for the Taiwanese Government of their compliance with United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. The meeting congratulated Janet for her contribution at this international forum.
The meeting focused on the following issues:
- An update on the implementation plans for the Psychosocial Disability Recovery-Oriented Framework.
- Breakout group discussions about issues for the improvement of the NDIS for participants with psychosocial disability, as a basis for discussion with the Minister for the NDIS, the Hon Bill Shorten.
- A briefing by Erin Ingham, Director Psychosocial Disability Policy Reform Team about the work underway on the development of a co-designed Participant Safety Policy.
- A discussion on the NDIA’s approach to the funding of allied health professionals for participants with psychosocial disability.
- The meeting discussed that planner practice on the ground is inconsistent with the guidance provided in the NDIS Operational Guidelines: Mainstream and Community Supports.
- It recommended that the NDIA needs to re-state its operational guidelines on funding for allied health for functional recovery. It also recommended that additional training and guidance be provided for NDIA planner and Local Area Coordinator staff on the NDIA’s policy position on this issue.
- Christine Morgan advised the meeting that through her national conversations on mental health issues, there is a strong theme that the community does not understand the distinction between NDIS-funded allied health supports, and health and mental health system funded treatment by allied health professionals. There is a high level of confusion and misunderstanding about what the NDIA funds in regard to supports provided by allied health professionals.
- In addition, she noted there are many more people looking for assistance to access mental health services in response to mental health challenges that arose during the pandemic.
- Members provided feedback reports to the NMHSRG.
- The NMHSRG is seeking a meeting with the Minister for the NDIS, the Hon Bill Shorten, to brief him directly on issues in regard to further reforms needed for participants with psychosocial disability in the Scheme.
The next meeting will be held on 23 November 2022 from 1.00 p.m. (AEST) to 4.00 p.m. (AEST).
This meeting will be held face to face for those members who are able to attend. This will be the first face to face meeting for the NMHSRG in over two years.
Dr Gerry Naughtin OAM, Strategic Advisor (Psychosocial Disability and Mental Health)
Ms Judith Drake, Consumer Representative
Ms Kerry Hawkins, Carer Representative
Ms Sandra Higgins, National Mental Health Consumer Alliance
Ms Lorraine Powell, Lived Experience Australia
Ms Katrina Armstrong, Mental Health Carers Australia
Ms Ingrid Hatfield, Mental Health Australia – proxy for Harry Lovelock.
Mr Bill Gye OAM, Community Mental Health Australia
Ms Jessica Walker, Branch Manager, NDIA Agency Policy Branch
Ms Christine Morgan, National Mental Health Commission
Ms Anthea Raven, Australian Government Department of Health
Ms Jacqueline Hrast, Branch Manager Participant Outcomes, Department of Social Services
Ms Donna White, Director Behaviour Support, NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission
Dr Bill Pring, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists
Ms Tamara Cavenett, Australian Psychological Society
Ms Amanda Curran, Allied Health Professions Australia
Ms Chris Faulkner, Branch Manager NDIA YPIRAC/Hospital Discharge Branch
Ms Erin Ingham, Director, NDIA Psychosocial Disability and Policy Reform Team
Mr John Stanway, Strategic Advisor on Health and the Health System Interface, NDIA
Dr Sue Page, Strategic Advisor on Health and the Health System Interface, NDIA
Ms Laura Giltrap, National Mental Health Commission
Mr Kieran O’Brien, Director, Department of Social Services
Ms Siobhan Carrigan, Assistant Director, Department of Social Services
Ms Katherine Hoggett, Policy Officer, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists
Ms Susan Hayward, National Mental Health Commission
Ms Laura Giltrap, National Mental Health Commission
Ms Susie Zhang, Office of the Scheme Actuary, NDIA
NDIA Psychosocial Disability and Policy Reform Team
Ms Janet Meagher AM, Independent Advisory Council Liaison
Mr David Gifford, Deputy Scheme Actuary, NDIA
Ms Nicola Wright, Executive Manager, Policy, Practice and Research, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of
Ms Amy Wyndham, NSW Health, Mental Health Branch
Mr Harry Lovelock, Mental Health Australia
Mr Phil Watson, Department of Health Victoria, Mental Health and Wellbeing Division
Mr Ivan Frkovic, State and Territory Mental Health Commissions