The toolkit has information and worksheets to help you know your rights and speak up for yourself, whether you are applying for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) or have already been accepted.
We created it with people with experience of using the mental health system and the NDIS. They told us they wanted to know more about how to self-advocate under the NDIS’ psychosocial disability stream, and what information and features the toolkit should have.
The toolkit is designed for people with lived experience of the mental health system who use or are eligible for the NDIS, but can also be used by supporters, such as carers, kin, family of origin, family of choice, friends, community members and support workers. We acknowledge that people using the tool might have both psychosocial and physical disability.
You can use the links on this page to select the section that suits your needs best.
The order of the links follow the process of applying for the NDIS, but you don’t have to use each section in order.
The toolkit has been designed to be used however you choose, there is no right or wrong way to use it. For example, you may choose to work through the toolkit from start to finish, or go straight to a specific section that is more relevant to you. You can use the toolkit in whatever way works best for you.
You can ask someone to help you use the toolkit. This could be a carer, kin, family of origin, family of choice, friend, community member, or support worker. If you're not sure who could support you, you can look at the section of this toolkit.
While using the toolkit, it's important to consider that:
'People need to be aware about how the NDIS actually helps, and that it is worthwhile advocating for yourself to get onto the NDIS.'
- each section will provide you with information and then the opportunity to fill out a worksheet
- each section can take up to one hour to work through
- to make sure your information remains confidential, the toolkit does not store the information you enter. This means you won't be able to access what you enter at a later time. Learn more about our
- to keep a copy of what you have entered, you can select the print button on each page. You can also use the print option to save what you have entered as a PDF.
- each worksheet section gives you the option to enter text in the boxes provided. If you'd like to express yourself in another way, you can leave the box blank before printing it.
- you can have a look through the information in the toolkit before using the worksheets. This will give you time to think about what is important to you.
- you will notice quotes throughout the toolkit. These are from people with their own experience of the mental health system, psychosocial disability or the NDIS. They will be highlighted like the following quote.
Where possible we have used plain language. We would like to acknowledge that there are times we have had to use the language of the NDIS.
You can look at these websites for more information if you come across a term you don't understand:
Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which our offices are based and where we undertake our work. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We acknowledge that sovereignty was never ceded.
IMHA would like to acknowledge and thank all the people who contributed to the co-design of this toolkit. Your generosity in sharing your experiences, expertise and time have resulted in a useful toolkit for people experiencing mental health issues. In particular, our team of lived experience co-designers, members of our Speaking From Experience consumer advisory group, IMHA NDIS Self-advocacy project team, and sector stakeholders. The following people and organisations contributed to the development of this toolkit:
- Caroline Strum
- Charles Manila
- Chris Thatcher
- Christie Jones, IMHA NDIS Project Administration Officer
- Hannah Friebel
- Jeremy Le Roux, IMHA NDIS Lived Experience Consultant
- Kelsey McGowan
- Robbie Dettmann, VACCHO
- Susan Alvarez-Vasquez
- Tandem members who participated in the consultations during Tandem Time
- Tania Curlis, Clinical Director, Clarable
- Tania Nicholls, Mental Health Service Development Unit, St Vincent's Hospital
We would like to note that not all contributors wanted to be named.
We’d like to thank our funding body. The Commonwealth government funded the Victorian Department of Health’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Division for IMHA to deliver this toolkit as part of the Information, Linkages and Capacity Building program.
Before applying for the NDIS
What is the NDIS?
If you are thinking about applying for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) you can learn more about the eligibility criteria, psychosocial disability, and what the NDIS can do for you.
My identity and keeping myself safe
Navigating the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) can be challenging. Here are some ways to keep yourself safe while you are using this toolkit and engaging with the NDIS.
Who will support me?
It's okay to get support to navigate the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Learn about what a support person is, how they can support you, and what to think about when choosing one.
Applying for the NDIS
If you've decided to apply for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), you can use this information to help you gather supporting documentation.
If you've been accepted onto the NDIS
Setting my goals
Before attending a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) planning meeting, you will need to set goals that are linked to what support the NDIS can provide you.
Attending my planning meeting
Learn about what happens at a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) planning meeting, what questions you will be asked, and how to prepare.
Putting my plan in to action
Once you've received your National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan, learn how to find services for the supports in your plan, and what to do if you have a problem with a support or service.
I disagree with an NDIA decision
If you receive a decision from the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) that you disagree with, there are a number of options available to help you resolve this.
Reviewed 19 January 2023