S38: Is the sky falling down? Building strong foundations to support NDIS change.

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By September 26, 2017 No Comments

Authors: Naomi Green

Year: 2017

Event: 2017 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Change, Innovation, Reform,Wellbeing,Funding – Changing Models, Systems

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.

Neami National’s Elpis Project supported people with psychosocial disability living in Assisted Boarding Houses (ABH) to prepare for engagement with NDIS. The project was developed in response to concerns about the early transition experience of consumers in the NSW Hunter NDIS trial site, and in particular the impact of the reduced capacity of some to articulate their current support arrangements, needs or preferences during the NDIS planning process. The NSW Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) engaged Neami National to identify opportunities to increase consumer capacity to manage the change environment and to articulate their goals and required supports, and to equip their carers (ABH managers and staff) with better skills and information to support residents and understand the NDIS market.

Between April and October 2017 the Epis Project delivered 12 series of 6 capacity building workshops (72 workshops in total) to approximately 200 people living in ABHs with the purpose of providing information, education and support around the skills needed to engage and navigate the NDIS system. A parallel capacity building program was delivered to ABH operators and staff.

Using a strengths based approach for the project, and firmly grounding practice in the recovery framework, Neami National developed a range of tools to support consumers in this process. This included the identification of strengths and values, implementing supported decision making, developing communication skills, building resilience and promoting wellbeing.

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.

Carter, B (2009) Supported Decision Making: Background and discussion paper, Office of the Public Advocate, Victoria Australia.
Family and Community Services (2013) Supported decision making framework, NSW Australia

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