Community Healthcare | Health & Healthcare

Funding challenges and uncertainties of the NDIS for mental health

19 Jan 2015, by Informa Australia

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is one of the most anticipated and significant disability reforms in recent years. It’s doubling the national investment in disability support and giving people with disability greater choices and control in the way they receive services and support.

The NDIS means and promises different things to different people. For those with little or no funding in the past, the NDIS may be their first opportunity to get the assistance they need and for those frustrated by the current system of service delivery, it may be their first opportunity to exercise choice and control over how their funds are spent.

As David Meldrum, Executive Director, Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia highlights, “a key issue is that we’ve got to get the funding model right”.

If the NDIS is “really focused on the most severe levels of need with each disability group” how do we ensure that funding doesn’t disadvantage those with less severe levels of disability and what does the NDIS mean for mental health?

The NDIS is still in its early stages of development and what emerged from discussions at our recent Integrating Mental Health into the NDIS Summit in November is that there remain many uncertainties for everyone it impacts on.

Questions that remain include:

  • With the development of the tiered NDIS system, what gaps may arise in the delivery of health, employment and other services for key disability groups, such as people with mental illness?
  • Where is the NDIS in terms of accommodating for individuals with mental illness?

Having spoken to a number of people from the Hunter Trial sites, David joined us from the Mental Health Summit to discuss these questions and address the key successes and funding challenges of the NDIS for mental health.

David is looking forward to “talking about more of the success stories” and will be joined by Adrian Munro, Executive Manager Operations, Richmond Fellowship of Western Australia (RFWA) to discuss integrating mental health into the NDIS with regards to policy developments and the lived experience of consumers.

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