Mental illness is surrounded by a stigma that restricts most people from discussing it or how it affects their life. Physical health is crucial, and mental health is vital, but people usually focus more on what is visible. The stigmatisation surrounding this topic is significant, forcing most people with mental health issues to keep their experiences to themselves. They are unsure of how society will treat them afterwards.
The NDIS has services and support to help improve individuals’ mental health. This article discusses how the NDIS can help those with a psychological disability.
What is Psychological Disability?
The NDIS defines psychological disability as a mental illness that affects an individual’s ability to engage in social interactions or everyday activities. A psychological disability refers to an emotional, psychiatric, mental illness, or persistent psychological disorder that affects one’s social interactions.
Planning, setting, and achieving employment goals and engaging in education can become challenging once you are diagnosed with a psychological disability. Due to the stigma surrounding it, many people fear seeking help. A psychological disability can cause:
- Excessive thirst,
- Fatigue, and many more impacts.
Psychological disability can have long-term effects and ongoing consequences, such as the development of anxiety disorders like OCD, bipolar depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Mental illness is a global issue. Many individuals suffering from a psychological disability do not have access to proper care or treatment, and this can have ongoing consequences. The NDIS ensures adequate support and care is given to those who meet the eligibility criteria.
Mental illness can manifest in different forms: temporary disability and chronic conditions.
Psychological Disability and NDIS Funding
A mental illness without support, communication, or community awareness can take a toll on people with mental illness. The NDIS provides funding for reasonable and necessary support to assist individuals with psychological disorders. The NDIS collaborates with various NDIS service providers and existing community-based mental health services to support individuals with mental health conditions in their recovery journey.
The NDIS’s main objective is to help participants, through their NDIS support to, achieve their goals which could include support to find jobs, engage in social interaction with community members, increase their economic participation and increase their independence.
Mental illness can fluctuate in intensity and become episodic. Therefore, an NDIS plan for psychosocial disability is designed for flexibility. This means your supports may increase or decreases throughout your NDIS plan period to meet your individual needs. The NDIS will create a plan, and you can access NDIS service providers of your choice for the support you need.
How NDIS Can Help
The main objective of NDIS is to provide support to help and encourage people with mental health conditions to become more independent and enhance their social participation. They do this by providing access to innovative and personalised services and support. However, you must meet the NDIS eligibility criteria, which are as follows;
- If you are aged between 7 and 65, a local area coordinator can help you to understand the NDIS, apply and connect with other government and community supports.
- If you have a child aged under 7, an early childhood partner can provide supports to children before they apply and let families know if the NDIS is right for their child.
- Australian citizen or have one of two visa types that let you live in Australia; permanent Visa holders and protected Special Category Visa holders.
- should have a disability caused by a permanent impairment,
- If you usually need disability-specific supports to complete daily life activities
- You may be eligible if you need some supports now to reduce your future need for support
- You may be eligible if you need some supports now for your family to build their skills to help you.
However, for mental health conditions or a psychological disability, one must meet these five requirements:
- The mental disability affects your capacity for social participation and economic well-being,
- You will need NDIS support for a lifetime,
- If you have an impairment as a result of mental health condition,
- Thepsychological disability results in substantially reduced functional capacity, and
- The psychological disability is likely to last a lifetime.
Once your eligibility is approved and you receive an NDIS Plan, registered NDIS service providers will can offer you the following support:
- Helping you achieve independence and self-reliance,
- Help in accessing supports like housing, health and family support,
- Provide assistance to set and achieve your goals
- Help you develop confidence and personal skills
- Provide coping mechanisms to help you handle everyday tasks
- Provide support to get into the workplace and employment services
Applying For NDIS Plan With A Psychological Disability
After confirming that you meet the eligibility criteria for psychological disability, you need to contact your general Practitioner (GP). They will help support your application by providing all the necessary documentation, like medical records or appointment notes. If any additional assessments of evidence is needed, the GP can refer you to allied health professionals like an occupational therapist or psychologist.
The NDIS is usually looking for evidence that your ability to carry on with daily activities or tasks is significantly affected in any of the following areas;
- Self-management – this is where you can’t organise your life, make decisions or plan and complete tasks.
- Social interaction – you can’t form or maintain relationships, emotions or behavioural regulations.
- Mobility – difficulty moving around or completing tasks in your home and community.
- Communication – can’t understand or have trouble understanding written, spoken or sign language.
- Self-care – difficulty eating, drinking, performing hygiene and grooming or fulfilling your health care needs.
NDIS Doesn’t Offer Supports to Everyone with Mental Health Conditions
Living with mental illness can be challenging. However, not everyone with mental illness has a psychological disability. Therefore, the NDIS won’t offer support to all of them. For example, if an individual has a psychological disability that significantly impairs their daily functioning and is likely to be long-term, they may be eligible for NDIS support.
Mental illness has a significant impact on people experiencing it. With the high stigmatisation surrounding this topic, most people are afraid to seek help or discuss their conditions. However, those with other mental health conditions can seek broader support through government services, local community support groups, and community mental health services.
The NDIS aims to provide support to help guide and support all forms of psychological disability and support them in their day-to-day lives. The scheme can provide funding to help participants purchase the support they need to increase their independence, inclusion, and economic and social participation. However, the support has to be safe, demonstrate value for money and be related to the impact of psychological disability.