Independent Mental Health Advocacy

Support for people with mental health conditions to access the NDIS

Wednesday 23 October 2019 6:33am

Support for people with mental health conditions to access the NDIS

We are pleased to announce the release of a new resource which aims to help people experiencing mental health issues to self-advocate for what they need under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The workbook ‘Self-Advocacy for the NDIS (Mental Health)’, was developed following a co-design process, in partnership with VMIACExternal Link and Tandem.External Link It covers everything from applying for the NDIS, to plans, appeals and reviews.

‘Applying for NDIS support and understanding the system can be very confusing and difficult to navigate’ said Ellisa Scott, Project Coordinator at IMHA. ‘Peer support workers from mental health services and carers were involved in every stage of the development of the workbook to ensure that it provided real-world solutions for people, at any stage of the process of engaging with the NDIS’ she said.

We’ve conducted several information sessions with consumers who reported an increased understanding of self-advocacy and self-determination after using the workbook. Consumers also reported increased knowledge and confidence to speak up for their needs.

‘The facilitator was an excellent and considerate presenter. The resource book provided is now my bible.’ Information session attendee.

‘Everything is neatly in chapters and I could refer to different sections for different queries. It covers really confusing topics and makes them accessible. It is practical, not just a text.’ Carer session attendee

Training for peer support workers

Next year Ellisa will be running an intensive two day ‘train the trainer’ program, for peer support workers to use the workbook to deliver NDIS Self-Advocacy workshops to people experiencing mental health issues.

‘Peer support workers are really well-placed to deliver workshops on self-advocacy for the NDIS, as their experience and wisdom as a peer creates an environment that breaks down barriers to engaging with the NDIS. People with a lived experience of mental health issues are the experts in their own lives, and so it is a huge strength of the workshops that they are peer-facilitated’ said Ellisa.

Funding for the workbook and training was generously provided by Department of Health and Human Services.

Download the workbook

Read the co-designed workbook

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More information

Contact Project Coordinator Ellisa Scott for more information about the booklet and training opportunities by calling (03) 9093 3717.

Reviewed 22 July 2021

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