Since mental health is not considered a physical disability, it can be difficult trying to see if you qualify for assistance from the NDIS mental health support plan. Simply, this plan is aimed at those who have a long-term disability resulting from a mental health condition. This can also be known as a psychosocial disability. A few steps must be taken before you may be able to be supported by the NDIS, which is available below.
However, if you do qualify, the main goal of this support plan is to achieve recovery. This is a term that is a term used widely throughout the mental health sector. However, recovery can cover a broad range of definitions. It is defined by the NDIA as: achieving an optimal state of persona, social and emotional well-being, as defined by each individual, whilst living with or recovering from a mental health condition.
To check your eligibility for this system, the criteria you must meet are:
- You must qualify for NDIS, which you can check to see if you are eligible here.
- Having a disability that is likely to be permanent, which is inclusive of a psychosocial disability
- Without having gratuitous or professional care, individuals have a greatly reduced capacity to enjoy their lives. This is inclusive of taking part in society events and partaking in activities for their own leisure.
- Individuals are likely to require support from the NDIS over the course of their lifetime
Important to Note:
Additionally, a person can meet these criteria, even in the presence of an episodic mental illness. An episodic mental illness does not follow a long-term lingering path but rather occurs at different points of one’s life.
We understand that mental health is dynamic. Thus if your condition changes over time but you still require support in everyday activities, you may still be eligible. It is best to check with your practitioner if your situation changes.
What Else They Must Know
To access the support system, you may be required to provide some details of your mental health diagnosis. However, we respect your privacy and so a specific diagnosis, while preferred is definitely not essential. The only thing you must provide is evidence of the condition from your psychologist, support worker, or whoever you may be confiding in. It is crucial to understand that NDIS is not necessarily worried about the diagnosis, but rather the impact that it has on your daily life as the plan is tailored to that.
The NDIA follows a few areas of your life to see if you require their additional support:
- Communication (Inclusive of being understood when speaking, whether using sign language, or writing in letters in order to express one’s needs)
- Social interaction (Maintaining friendships, interacting with the community and behaving in a socially acceptable way)
- Learning (Taking in new information, and using new skills)
- Mobility (Ability to move around the home, and undertake normal everyday activities)
- Self-care (Pampering oneself, as well as basic needs such as hygiene, grooming and feeding)
- Self-management (Individual’s ability to organise their own life, and make responsible decision for themselves)
How Will NDIS Support Me?
In recovery, one of the most important aspects is the support system individuals have. Fighting a mental illness alone can be lonely and extremely tiring. Since July 2020, a psychosocial recovery coach is available to support participants in their journey to living a full and contributing life. There are multiple benefits to this. These coaches support participants to take back control of their lives. They also assist in devising a more effective management plan to deal with the complexities of life. Additionally, not only does the recovery coach work with the individual but liaise with the ones that know you best- friends and family. This is to implement an extremely personalized recovery plan. They are also able to assist with the coordination of NDIS, the plan you have chosen, and other supports.
Furthermore, to ensure you feel comfortable with the individual that is treating you, there is an option of selecting either:
- a recovery coach with lived experience OR
- a recovery coach with learned knowledge of psychosocial disability and mental health.
The NDIS does not fund non-clinical services, or medication as these sorts of treatments can be accessed from the mainstream healthcare system. This is because the NDIS solely funds ‘reasonable and necessary supports’ with the focus of people with this disability reach their goals in life. As a reiteration, this may include working and being part of an inclusive and happy community.
Your First Step to Take Control of Recovery
If you have read through this article, and realize that you do indeed fit the criteria and have difficulties with all the elements listed above, it would be a good time to seek this extra support. Remember, it is never weak to reach out! It truly shows how strong of a person you are in wanting to take back control of your life, and we commend you for that!