Resources for people living with mental illness, their families and carers

When the Commission talks with people who have a lived experience of mental illness, and their families and carers, we frequently hear concerns about how people’s needs will be met in the post-NDIS environment. Supports for individuals who experience psychosocial disability as a result of mental illness are included in the NDIS, but people sometimes struggle with the application process and find the eligibility criteria hard to understand. The relationship between NDIS-funded supports, and other support and treatment services, can also be complicated.

Psychosocial disability is a term that describes  anything related to metal health conditions that restricts your ability to participate fully in life. These impairments can include a loss of ability to function, think clearly, experience full physical health, and manage the social and emotional aspects of your life. 

While the NDIS website is the best starting place for all information and updates about how to access support for psychosocial disability, there are other sources of information and assistance that can provide answers to the particular issues you or your family member may have.

Help with accessing and using the NDIS 

From the Mental Health Coordinating Council (MHCC):

  • Reimagine: This website aims to help people with mental health conditions, their families, carers and supporters access and navigate the NDIS. It includes conversation and planning tools, outlines steps and processes required to apply for NDIS funding, explains NDIS language, and presents alternatives if an application is unsuccessful.

From Endeavour Foundation:

  • Discover: A Resource for people planning for the future: This booklet provides information needed to navigate the NDIS. It combines complex information alongside ‘easy read’ sections to enable people with impaired decision making to be supported through all stages of planning under NDIS. Discover also provides information about planning for whole of life including wills and trusts.

Help for families and carers

From MHA Australia:

  • Mental Health Carers NDIS Guide and Checklist: Mental Health Australia and Carers Australia have developed a Guide for Mental Health Carers on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and a Mental Health Carer Checklist to prepare for NDIS assessment and planning meetings. The guide and checklist provide information to help carers support the person they care for to engage with the NDIS effectively.

From Carers Australia:

  • Introduction to the NDIS for Mental Health Carers: This one hour video webinar aims to support mental health carers to understand the NDIS and provide information and resources to help support the person you care for, engage with the Scheme. It was filmed in November 2016.

From the NSW Mental Health Commission:

  • NDIS and the mental health family/carer: What you need to know: This short video features a Q&A session between mental health carers and two people familiar with the NDIS, namely: Cathy Nattress, a mum whose son has qualified for the NDIS, and Mary Hawkins, Director – Engagement NSW Central, National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). It was filmed at the Commission’s June 2017 event 'A Caring Collective’.
  • Caring for the future: This paper captures solutions and strategies from carers and families in NSW about improving mental health care for their loved ones, and includes a section about the NDIS. The Commission encourages families and carers to use this paper to educate others in their local communities and when engaging with services and supports. As with the video above, this paper is an output from the Commission’s June 2017 event 'A Caring Collective’.

Help with buying goods and entering into contracts with service providers

Under the NDIS, many people will be buying goods and entering into contracts with service providers for the first time. The information sources below aim to help you understand your consumer rights and what to do if something you pay for is not right.

From the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC):

  • Your consumer rights: A guide for consumers with disability: This guide is designed to help you understand and use the rights that the law gives you as a consumer, including what to look out for when signing a contract/service agreement. It includes a complaint letter template and a services cancellation notice template.
  • Your rights when you buy something: This guide is written in Easy English. It is designed for people who have difficulty reading and understanding written information. It explains your rights when you buy something and tells you where to go for help. It is also available in:
    • Arabic | العربية
    • Chinese simplified | 简体中文
    • Filipino | Tagalog
    • Greek | Ελληνικά
    • Hindi | हिन्दी
    • Italian | Italiano
    • Spanish | Español
    • Vietnamese | Tiếng Việt

From NSW Fair Trading:

  • Who to complain to: This postcard explains which Government organisation to contact if you have an issue connected to the NDIS.
  • Easy-to-read postcards and contract checklist: These cover
    • Renting a home
    • Buying a used car
    • Be scam aware
    • Your shopping rights
    • Hiring a service
    • Making a complaint
    • Entering a contract
    • Contract checklist

Help when you have a complaint about an NDIA decision, or a product or service you bought

From NSW Fair Trading:

  • Who to complain to: This postcard explains which Government organisation to contact if you have an issue connected to the NDIS.

From Legal Aid NSW:

Help understanding the issues that have arisen in the roll out of the NDIS to people with psychosocial disability

From Parliament of Australia:

Help staying up to date with the NDIS

From Mental Health Australia:

  • NDIS Mental Health Information Portal: As part of the NDIS Capacity Building Project, Mental Health Australia compiled a range of information regarding the NDIS, which mental health consumers, carers, service providers and policy officers may find useful.
  • NDIS Mental Health Network: This quarterly newsletter provides updates on what’s happening with the NDIS and how it may impact you.

From Disability Loop:

  • Disability Loop website and email newsletter: Disability Loop is a project funded by the NDIS that aims to help people find out more about the NDIS. It is run by, and for, people with disability and their allies. It is not specific to mental health.

Resources for service providers

This section provides links to information and resources that may assist organisations in NSW delivering services for psychosocial disability under the NDIS.

Please note the NDIS website is the best starting place for all information and updates , however there are other sources below that may provide answers to the particular issues you or your service may have.

Help transitioning to the NDIS

From Mental Health Australia & partners:

  • National training webinars: These webinars aim to assist mental health service providers to engage with the NDIS. They cover the following topics:
    • Marketing for Psychosocial Disability Providers
    • Costing and Pricing - Part 1
    • Costing and Pricing - Part 2
    • Flexible Workforce Practices
    • Marketing - Sales Planning Process

From National Disability Services (NDS) and Curtin Not-for-Profit Initiative:

  • Costing and Pricing Learning Program: This program has been developed to help meet the costing and pricing challenge currently facing all service providers transitioning to the NDIS. It aims to provide a suite of training and support resources that can be applied and accessed across diverse locations across Australia.

Helping clients access the NDIS

From the Department of Social Services:

Help understanding the issues that have arisen in the roll out of the NDIS to people with psychosocial disability

From Parliament of Australia:

From Aftercare:

  • Mental health reform in an NDIS world: These videos from a panel forum held in October 2017 cover topics including:
    • What are we doing for the most vulnerable (those falling through the gap)
    • The pace of NDIS transition (those left behind)
    • How NDIS transition is being managed (workforce gaps)
    • Recovery-oriented model of care under NDIS (capacity building)
    • Q&A session with audience

Help understanding your legal obligations

From the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC):

Help handling complaints

From the NSW Ombudsman:

  • Complaint handling resources: This includes a fact sheet on ‘tips for accessible complaint handling’, for organisations wanting to make it easier for people with a disability to make complaints and receive a quality response.

Help staying up to date with the NDIS

  • Mental Health Australia’s NDIS Mental Health Information Portal: As part of the NDIS Capacity Building Project, Mental Health Australia compiled a range of information regarding the NDIS, which mental health consumers, carers, service providers and policy officers may find useful.
  • Mental Health Coordinating Council website: MHCC is the peak body for community mental health organisations in NSW.

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Last updated: 9 March 2018