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NDIS and Mental Health


Updated 29th November 2023

Navigating the intricacies of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in relation to mental health can be a complex process. The scheme provides support to Australians with disability, and this includes many people with psychosocial disabilities arising from mental health issues. Understanding eligibility requirements, the application process, and the types of support available is fundamental for potential participants and their families.

Understanding Psychosocial Disability

Mental health is a significant concern in Australia, with a vast spectrum of conditions falling under the umbrella of mental health issues. A psychosocial disability, as recognised by the NDIS, is a term used to describe the impairments, participation restrictions, and social disadvantages that result from a mental health condition. Such disabilities are characterised by severe effects on a person's ability to undertake daily activities and engage in the community.

Eligibility for the NDIS

To be eligible for the NDIS with a mental health condition, individuals must prove that their condition is likely to be permanent, and substantially impacts their ability to perform everyday activities. Documentation and evidence from health professionals are a critical part of the application process.

Preparing for Your NDIS Planning Meeting

Once eligibility is confirmed, participants will have a planning meeting with an NDIS representative. It's vital to prepare for this meeting by:

  • Identifying personal goals for the future.
  • Understanding how a psychosocial disability affects daily life.
  • Providing examples of support currently received and its effectiveness.

NDIS Plans and Mental Health

Individuals approved for the NDIS receive a personalised plan that outlines the supports funded by the scheme. Supports for participants with mental health conditions may include:

  • Therapy services like psychology or counselling.
  • Support coordination to help manage and implement the plan.
  • Life skills training for improved daily living.
  • Employment assistance integrating into the workforce.
  • Peer support and community engagement activities.

Managing an NDIS Plan

Effective management of an NDIS plan is crucial. Participants can opt for:

  • Self-management, where they have control over the funding and sourcing providers directly.
  • Plan management, where a third party manages the funding on behalf of the participant.
  • Agency management, where the NDIA manages the plan and the participant uses NDIS-registered providers.

Continuity of Support for Mental Health

Participants with mental health conditions might face fluctuating levels and types of required support. The NDIS provides flexibility to accommodate this, allowing plan reviews and adjustments as necessary.

Seeking Support Coordinators

For many, engaging a Support Coordinator can be beneficial. These professionals can:

  • Offer guidance in understanding and utilising the NDIS plan effectively.
  • Connect participants with services and supports that align with their goals.
  • Advocate on behalf of the participant to ensure services are delivered as expected.

Recovery-Oriented Framework

The NDIS adopts a recovery-oriented approach to mental health support, recognising that recovery is a personal journey rather than a set outcome. Supports funded by the NDIS are designed to enhance the individual's capacity to live a more fulfilling life, strengthening their ability to manage daily tasks and social interactions.

Personalised Supports

The flexibility of NDIS-funded supports means they can be tailored to the individual’s unique requirements. The focus remains on the participant’s strengths and choices, with an emphasis on promoting independence and community participation.


Mental health and the NDIS together form a supportive framework that aims to provide people with psychosocial disabilities the tools and support they need to improve their lives. Proper understanding and utilisation of the NDIS can result in significant positive outcomes, fostering empowerment and resilience among people with mental health conditions.

Navigating the NDIS with respect to mental health requires a clear understanding of eligibility, preparation for planning meetings, and effective plan management. By engaging with the right supports and services, participants can make strides towards achieving their personal goals and contributing to their communities.

About the Author

Alex is an esteemed expert in assistive technology and disability support services, he holds a unique blend of professional expertise and personal dedication to enhancing the lives of individuals with disabilities. With over a decade of experience in research and development, Alex has been at the forefront of integrating cutting-edge assistive technologies into practical support solutions. Renowned for his empathetic approach and strong advocacy for disability rights, Alex’s work extends beyond academic research to hands-on involvement in community initiatives and policy advisory roles. A prolific writer, his articles are widely acclaimed for their insightful analysis, clear communication, and commitment to ethical considerations in technology use.

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