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By November 28, 2022 No Comments

Authors: Nicola Hancock, Debbie Hamilton, Damian Mellifont, Justin Scanlan, Fay Jackson, Andre Maddocks, James Pollack

Year: 2022

Event: 2022 TheMHS Conference

Subject: psychosocial, NDIS

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

Abstract: LEAD PRESENTATION: Understanding the complexity of applying for NDIS experienced by people with psychosocial disability
Nicola Hancock, Debbie Hamilton, Damian Mellifont, Justin Scanlan

Many people living with psychosocial disability are still not applying to access support from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The National Mental Health Commission engaged our team - researchers with and without lived experience from The University of Sydney to: 1) understand the complexity and barriers to applying for the NDIS for people living with psychosocial disability, and 2) co-design potential solutions to these identified barriers with stakeholders. An online survey, completed by almost 400 people including people living with psychosocial disability, family and friends, mental health advocates and practitioners, has informed us of ten overarching barriers to accessing the NDIS. Some prominent barriers were that key NDIS information remains confusing and inaccessible, and that the application process is too long, complicated, and inflexible and doesn’t accommodate for psychosocial disability.
Drawing upon the expertise of survey respondents and peak disability organisations, we then collaboratively identified pragmatic solutions to addressing or reducing NDIS access barriers for people with psychosocial disability. Through investing in these solutions, more people will be able to apply to the NDIS and receive the supports needed to live more connected, engaged and productive lives.

PANEL PRESENTATION: Supporting Staff Moral through the NDIS Application, Appeal and Review Processes
Fay Jackson, Andre Maddocks, James Pollack

The processes of applying for NDIS funding, making appeals and undertaking reviews are stressful for applicants and their carers. It is also stressful for staff who have been trained to value lived experience, to focus on the strengths, capabilities, hopes and goals of the people they support; not their challenges or ‘psychosocial disabilities’. These staff are usually trained in using strengths-based language such as that included in the Flourish Australia Language Guide. Peer Workers, Mental Health Workers, COS, LAC staff and others often feel extremely challenged, compromised and cruel when they are required to change their focus and language to that which is required to achieve successful outcomes in the NDIS processes. The deficits focus and language required, as well as use of diagnostic terms and labels, negatively impact staff who can be undertaking these processes with many people at any given time. Staff wellbeing can be so challenged that some quit, some need counselling and some may even feel suicidal, especially if a person they are supporting takes their own life during the process.
This presentation will share ideas Flourish Australia have incorporated while supporting staff, who in turn support the people, family, carers and kin who are applying.

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