Psychosocial disability

What is psychosocial disability? | What is recovery | Accessing the NDIS | What supports will the NDIS fund? | Factsheets and resources | Contact us

What is psychosocial disability?

Psychosocial disability is a term used to describe a disability that may arise from a mental health issue.

Not everyone who has a mental health issue will have a psychosocial disability but for those that do, it can be severe and longstanding and impact on somebody’s recovery.

People with a disability as a result of their mental health condition may qualify for the NDIS.

To find out more about how the NDIS can support people with psychosocial disability, watch the video, Psychosocial Disability and the NDIS.

Transcript (DOCX 18KB)

Accessing the NDIS

Access Snapshot 1: General Information (PDF 236KB)

Access Snapshot 2: Impairment and Mental Health in the NDIS (PDF 221KB)

Access Snapshot 3: Recovery and the NDIS (PDF 223KB)

Access Snapshot 4: Functional Capacity and Mental Health Issues (PDF 238KB)

Access Snapshot 5: NDIS and Other Services Supporting your Mental Health (PDF 211KB)

The purpose of these snapshots is to provide specific, detailed information to people with psychosocial disability, their supporters, and service providers.
Everyone who applies to the NDIS must meet eligibility criteria. These include age, residency and disability requirements. You must also live in an area where the NDIS is being rolled out.

For a person with a psychosocial disability to access the Scheme, they need to have a permanent or likely-to-be permanent disability as a result of their mental health condition. The condition must have a significant impact on their day-to-day life and the person’s ability to participate in the community. It also needs to be likely that the person will need support for the rest of their life.

For more information, go to Accessing the NDIS section of the website.

What is recovery?

The term recovery is used widely throughout the mental health sector. It can have different meanings in different contexts.

The NDIA defines recovery as achieving an optimal state of personal, social and emotional wellbeing, as defined by each individual, whilst living with or recovering from a mental health condition.

The NDIS understands that recovery is a journey. There are key principles of the NDIS that align well with recovery.

These include:

  • choice and control for participants.
  • a lifetime commitment to supports and funding (enables hope and optimism).
  • provision of plan flexibility (enables support to be used to meet different needs at different times).
  • opportunities for increased social and economic participation.
  • disability focused support which is recovery orientated.

What supports will the NDIS fund?

For NDIS participants, the scheme will fund supports that assist you to live an ordinary life.

This includes:

  • assistance with planning, decision making and household tasks
  • assistance to build the skills to live independently and achieve their goals, such as building social relationships, as well as financial management and tenancy management skills

You can choose to access your funded supports in your own home, at a centre or to access community activities.

The terms ‘treatment’ in the mental health system and ‘ongoing functional support for psychosocial disability’ (targeted at reducing the impact on a persons’ functional capacity of impairments/s attributable to a psychiatric condition) provided by the NDIS, assist us to better define the respective roles.

The NDIS will not fund supports provided by the health and mental health system. This includes things like medical and clinical treatment services, medications and in-patient and residential care.

Factsheets and resources

Factsheets

Documents

  • Completing the Access Process -Tips for Communicating about Psychosocial Disability (PDF) - a resource for mental health clinicians engaging with the Scheme.
    *The NDIA gratefully acknowledges the work and practical assistance of the ACT Government’s Health, Mental Health, Justice Health, Alcohol and Drug Services and Canberra Hospital and Health services in the development of this resource.
  • National Mental Health Sector Reference Group (NMHSRG) - Sector Communiques - following each meeting of the NMHSRG, a sector communique is developed with members and made available on the NDIS website. This communique provides information about the NDIA’s current mental health projects, including links to project scopes and to other websites and resources relevant to the mental health sector.
  • Key Themes Arising from the NDIS and Mental Health Webinar (DOCX) - to mark Mental Health Week, the NDIA hosted an NDIS and Mental Health Webinar on Wednesday, 7 October 2015. The expert panel included NDIS participants and those with lived experience. Discussion focused on how people with psychosocial disability are using the NDIS to improve their lives. The ‘NDIS and Mental Health’ webinar generated a large amount of community interest with over 700 people participating in the live stream. Numerous questions were recorded and the key themes arising from the webinar are captured in this document.
  • The NDIS Independent Advisory Council Advice for Implementing the Scheme for People with a Psychosocial Disability - this document, along with the Agency Response to the IAC advice on implementing the Scheme for People with a Psychosocial Disability was developed for the NDIA Board’s consideration. They are available on the NDIS website.

Reports

  • Psychosocial Supports Design Project – Progress report (April 2016) (DOCX) by the NDIA and Mental Health Australia (MHA) - summary of the progress made in implementing the recommendations of the Psychosocial Supports Design Project – Final Report.
  • Psychosocial Supports Design Project – Final Report (April 2016) (DOCX) by the NDIA and Mental Health Australia (MHA) - the NDIA and Mental Health Australia embarked on a joint project to identify optimal packages of support for NDIS participants with a psychosocial disability. The Project began in response to concerns expressed by mental health providers operating in NDIS trial sites about the applicability of the NDIS Support Catalogue (now called the NDIA Price Guide) to the types of support services likely to be chosen by participants with psychosocial disability.

    The broad aims of the Project were:

    • To describe in detail the range of disability supports for people who have a primary condition of psychosocial disability that may be sourced by individuals with NDIS funding.
    • To make evidence based recommendations, where new support items may be needed to adequately assist people with psychosocial disability who are participants in the NDIS.

Interviews

  • Carers Australia Victoria – Interview with Eddie Bartnik (external) - a resource detailing the NDIA leading work around mental health / psychosocial disability, Local Area Coordination and Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (previously called Tier 2 of the NDIS).

Papers

  • Factsheet: Accessing the NDIS (PDF115KB) . This guide was developed jointly by the Australian Government and Flinders University and will support mental health providers in making it easier for people with a psychosocial disability to access the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The Guide builds on work occurring in the National Disability Insurance Agency to improve pathways for people with psychosocial disability and work underway by the Productivity Commission and the Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS.
  • Reimagine Website (external site). This website is designed for people living with a mental health condition to better understand the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and what supports and services it can offer. The information on this website is also for friends, family members and carers to assist them to support someone living with a mental health condition. This website was co-designed with the Mental Health Coordinating Council and people living with mental health conditions and their support networks.
  • Mental Health and the NDIS: A Literature Review Commissioned by Mind Australia for the NDIS by the Independent Advisory Council (IAC) (PDF) - jointly published on the 20 May 2015, the paper provide expert advice to inform community expectations on: access to the NDIS, the nature of supports that may be provided by the NDIS, and more broadly, the current state of evidence relating to the impact of psychosocial disability in the context of the implementation of the NDIS.
  • Psychosocial Disability and the NDIS: An Introduction to the Concept of Holistic Psychosocial Disability Support by Paul O’Halloran (PDF) - jointly published on the 20th May 2015, the paper provide expert advice to inform community expectations on: access to the NDIS, the nature of supports that may be provided by the NDIS, and more broadly, the current state of evidence relating to the impact of psychosocial disability in the context of the implementation of the NDIS.

External Resources

Contact us

For further information email: Mental.Health.Team@ndis.gov.au