S20: How to stop the sky from falling down: Building strong foundations to support NDIS change.

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By September 21, 2017 No Comments

Authors: Naomi Green

Year: 2017

Event: 2017 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Service Systems, Delivery, Implementation,Funding – Changing Models, Systems, Change, Innovation, Reform

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

Abstract: The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) brings major shifts in the way that supports are delivered to consumers by community mental health organisations. It also significantly changes the way in which consumers choose, plan and access supports. Operating in environments of change, particularly ones of this magnitude, often invokes negative feelings, thoughts and consequences and, like Henny Penny, it is easy to think that the sky might well be falling in.

In 2016/17 Neami National supported people with psychosocial and/or intellectual disability to prepare for engagement with the NDIS through the Elpis Project, a series of workshops providing information, education and support to develop skills in the identification of strengths and values, supported decision making, effective communication, resilience and the promotion of wellbeing. Some of the key learning outcomes of the project related to the need for an approach to supports that recognises the highly unique circumstances, needs and desires of each individual. Everybody’s concept of what constitutes a good life is different.

NDIS implementation also creates a new juncture between the disability and mental health sectors. In fact, in some states both the mental health and disability sectors have devolved into the single NDIS service structure. This poses a range of challenges for consumers as much as it does for service providers, but it also creates great opportunities for a support approach that recognises the individual outside existing funding structures. As providers we need to think about how we weather the uncertainties of the new arrangements, how we understand and frame the changes, and how we best utilise the NDIS to support people with a mental health condition to define and live a good life.

The purpose of the workshop will be to gather together to shape how we can most effectively approach and respond to the changes. Some of the questions that may be explored during the workshop include: Do we need to rethink recovery in the NDIS context? Do we need a new language? What can we learn from the disability sector? Are the disability and mental health sectors really that different? What strategies can we use to support consumers engaging with NDIS? How can we best support people (staff and consumers) to avoid a ‘henny penny’ approach to NDIS?

Some of the challenges, strategies and learnings from the Elpis Project will be shared to help to guide the discussion. Workshop participants will also be invited to share any recent and relevant experience, knowledge or ideas.

Workshop Plan (1.5 hours)
Introduction to topic: Brief overview of Elpis Project with reference to workshop topic and observations of sector NDIS impact. (10 mins, facilitator)
Discussion topic one: What constitutes a good life? Is this achievable under NDIS? (10 mins, large group)
Discussion topic two: What are the different models? (recovery, person-centred planning) (10 mins, facilitator)
Should we be relying on a single model in an individual support environment? (10 mins, facilitator)
Discussion topic three: What strategies could we be implementing to support consumers accessing NDIS? (15 mins, small groups)
Discussion topic four: What strategies could we be implementing to support staff with NDIS changes? (15 mins, small groups)
Close: Take away messages (10 mins, facilitator)
Questions (10 mins, facilitator/ large group)

Learning Objectives
Learning Objective 1: Participants will develop confidence to approach NDIS changes, and to support consumers in their engagement with the NDIA.

Learning Objective 2: The NDIS is the biggest shift Australia has seen to funding and support for people with a disability (including mental illness), and to funding and structures in community health organisations and government bodies.

Family and Community Services (2012) Living Life My Way: Putting people with a disability at the centre of decision making about their supports in NSW, NSW Australia
O’Halloran, P (2014) About Psychosocial Disability and the NDIS, Introduction to the Concept of Holistic Psychosocial Disability Support, NSW Australia

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