Specialist psychosocial and carer supports falling through the cracks
Wellways Australia has welcomed the decision by the COAG Health Ministers to establish a working group to progress the Commonwealth’s National Psychological Supports program as more needs to done to ensure people who transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) don’t miss out on vital supports.
More than 65,000 people are forecast to transition to the NDIS as it rolls out but many of these people also require specialist rehabilitation services which are being discontinued in some states.
Wellways Chief Executive Ms Elizabeth Crowther said “The supports available for people living with mental illness through the NDIS are not a substitute for psychosocial rehabilitation which assists people in recovery – re-learning skills, engaging in education and employment again, rebuilding their lives after illness. Some of these people will not be eligible for NDIS and will fall through the cracks and have their hopes for recovery dashed.
“The NDIS has created confusion about who is responsible for rehabilitation. As a consequence, thousands of Australians are at risk of losing critical services. This poses significant human consequences, and major threats to economic participation”.
“We are particularly concerned about the defunding of programs such as Partners in Recovery, which provide essential support to people and families with complex needs who have disengaged from mental health supports.”
Another area of concern is that the funding for the Department of Social Services Mental Health Carer Support (MHR:CS) program is being transitioned into the NDIS.
Ms Crowther said “People caring for family and friends with mental ill health need to be able to access carer support in their own right, this support should not be dependent on the eligibility of the person they support accessing the NDIS.”
Wellways is calling on the Health Ministers across the country to close these gaps and ensure people with psychosocial disabilities and their families continue to receive the supports they need.
For more information
Mary Orgill, General Manager Communications & Marketing 0429 022 248