VICSERV October Forum: NDIS And Mental Health

On 28 October 2015, VICSERV convened a forum to assist the sector in understanding the issues and considerations around mental health under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Our first speaker was Laura Collister from MI Fellowship, who provided an overview of working with participants within the NDIS support cluster framework. Laura highlighted many new paradigms emerging out of the NDIS, such as receiving funding after service delivery, redefining eligibility and how supports fit, or do not fit, into a 'shopping list' model of care. The presentation included a short film featuring NDIS participants and carers sharing their experiences with the NDIS. You can access Laura's presentation in PDF or watch it on YouTube.

Phil Dunn from Pathways also presented, delving into organisational issues in the face of NDIS. Touching on the difficulties experienced in Barwon during the transition to NDIS, Phil illuminates several challenges and changes organisations need to be mindful of in the current environment. His presentation is available in PDF and on YouTube.

The forum also featured a Consumer and Carer Panel. Consumer Kylie McCutcheon and her advocate from Rights Information and Advocacy Center (RIAC), James Keith, shared their experience of appealing an NDIA decision not to fund Kylie's recovery supports, which left her in poorer health than before joining the NDIS. Georg Alley from MI Fellowship also weighed in on the importance of advocacy in the context of the NDIS.

Later in the forum we were joined via teleconference by NDIA Strategic Advisor, Eddie Bartnik. Eddie provided an overview of NDIS operational developments, including an update on recent NDIA consultations and carer engagement initiatives.

This presentation was followed by David Moody, from the NDS, who discussed the challenges of lean NDIS prices and how this will impact training, leadership and marketing. He also touched on the potential role of Local Area Coordination services in the context of the ILC framework. You can access David's presentation in PDF or on YouTube.

Pathways manager, Brooke Baxter, also presented on her research findings on the professional and personal experiences of mental health support workers involved in the Barwon NDIS trial site. Brooke discussed the need for organisations to be aware of relationship barriers, business pressures and the mourning needs of workers in transitioning to the NDIS.

The final panel of the day featured David Moody (NDS), Elizabeth Crowther (MI Fellowship), Phil Dunn (Pathways) and Julien McDonald (Tandem) who all provided their insights into what the key issues will be in transitioning to the NDIS, as we get closer to the roll-out dates. View the panel discussion on YouTube.