The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) represents a major opportunity to deliver much-needed services and support for people with a range of disabilities. The Mental Health Council of Australia (MHCA) supports the NDIS, especially given the bi-partisan commitment to increasing funding to support people with significant ongoing disabilities over the next few years. It is absolutely appropriate that the scheme includes people with a psychosocial disability related to mental illness.
However, the MHCA has strong concerns about the implications of the scheme for mental health consumers, carers and service providers. These concerns relate to the design of the NDIS, the status of existing services, and the likely impact on future mental health programs.
This position paper outlines the current challenges and provides some suggestions on how to resolve them.