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NDIS review shows promising recognition of the needs of people with psychosocial disability

The Australian Psychosocial Alliance (APA), an alliance of leading community mental health organisations, has welcomed the release of the Final Report of the Independent Review into the NDIS. The report offers recommendations for transformative change to Australia’s disability insurance scheme, including several that directly align with solutions proposed in the APA’s submission to the Review

Flourish Australia, as a proud member of the Australian Psychosocial Alliance, fully embraces and welcomes the recommendations outlined in the Final Report of the Independent Review into the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). As part of the APA, Flourish Australia aligns with the transformative changes suggested for Australia’s disability insurance scheme, many of which resonate with the solutions proposed in the APA's submission to the review.

APA spokesperson and Mind Australia CEO, Gill Callister, said that the APA is encouraged by recommendations to address the unique needs of people with psychosocial disability and encourages the NDIA to work with participants to implement the recommendations. 

“We have been awaiting the release of the final report, as we see this as a significant opportunity for Government to reshape the Scheme in partnership with participants, so that it better addresses their needs,” Ms Callister said. 

“We are encouraged the Independent Review Panel has listened to the concerns raised in our submission that people with psychosocial disability are often the invisible participants of the NDIS. 

“People with psychosocial disability have unique needs, with many people experiencing episodic periods of being unwell. They require flexible supports which can be scaled up to meet their needs at this time. 

“We support a specific approach for people with psychosocial disability, and were pleased to see this through a new pathway for people with psychosocial disability in the Review. This must be developed in partnership with people with lived experience and implemented in a way that makes accessing supports easier, not harder. 

“We are also encouraged that the Review Panel has supported our recommendation that participants with psychosocial disability have access to a workforce with expertise in psychosocial disability, including specialist navigators who can support them to set and achieve goals, and connect with supports. 

“A lived experience workforce is also crucial to delivering effective psychosocial supports. People who have experienced mental health challenges are uniquely placed to design and guide others along the path to recovery.” 

Ms Callister said that providing access to intervention supports early in the Scheme is also a welcome step in the right direction. 

“This aligns with our calls for supports that build peoples’ capacity to participate in the community and achieve their goals, without removing their ability to transition to ongoing supports where they need it.” 

The Review also made recommendations to enhance the integration of mental health services and the NDIS, including developing Foundational Supports to address the current lack of options outside the NDIS – all critical enablers for change that were outlined in the APA’s submission. 

Obviously, it is of key importance that foundational supports are developed and established early so that people who may require supports both inside and outside of the scheme are able to access them. 

The APA acknowledges that there is still work to be done to work through the details of the review to further develop recommendations. 

“We look forward to working in partnership with participants, Government and other stakeholders to work through the detail, progress and implement these transformative reforms,” Ms Callister said. 


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