The Australian Psychosocial Alliance (APA), a coalition of leading community mental health organizations, is elated to embrace the release of the Final Report of the Independent Review into the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). This groundbreaking report presents a series of recommendations poised to usher in transformative change for Australia’s disability insurance scheme. Importantly, several of these recommendations closely align with the solutions proposed in the APA’s submission to the Review.
Gill Callister, APA spokesperson and CEO of Mind Australia, expressed enthusiasm for the report’s focus on addressing the unique needs of individuals with psychosocial disability. She urged the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to collaborate with participants in implementing these pivotal recommendations.
“We have eagerly anticipated the release of the final report, viewing it as a momentous opportunity for the government to reshape the NDIS in partnership with participants, making it more responsive to their needs,” Ms. Callister affirmed.
The APA has long advocated for recognizing that people with psychosocial disability can often feel like invisible participants within the NDIS. Their needs, characterized by episodic periods of illness, demand flexible support that can be scaled up during challenging times. The Review’s recommendation to establish a specific pathway for people with psychosocial disability, developed in consultation with individuals with lived experience, represents a significant step towards ensuring easier access to the required support.
The Review’s endorsement of the APA’s recommendation for participants with psychosocial disability to have access to a workforce proficient in psychosocial disability, including specialized navigators, is also highly encouraging. Such navigators would assist in setting and achieving goals while connecting individuals with the necessary supports. Emphasizing the importance of a lived experience workforce, Ms. Callister noted their unique ability to design and guide others on the path to recovery.
Furthermore, the provision of early access to intervention supports within the Scheme aligns with the APA’s calls for capacity-building support that enables participants to engage in their communities and pursue their goals, while preserving the option for ongoing support when needed.
The Review’s recommendations for enhancing the integration of mental health services and the NDIS, including the development of Foundational Supports to address existing gaps, closely mirror the priorities outlined in the APA’s submission. Ensuring that foundational supports are promptly established is paramount, as it enables individuals requiring support both inside and outside the NDIS to access them.
While acknowledging the need for further work on the specifics of the review, the APA is committed to partnering with participants, the government, and other stakeholders to advance and implement these transformative reforms.
“We eagerly anticipate the opportunity to collaborate, progress, and implement these far-reaching reforms that will undoubtedly make a substantial impact on the lives of those with psychosocial disability,” Ms. Callister concluded.