WA NDIS Update
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NDIS Quarterly Update

December 2018


Welcome to the Western Australian Association for Mental Health's first regular update on the National Disability Insurance Scheme and how it fits into the community mental health landscape in Western Australia.


You are receiving this as you have been recognised as a key stakeholder in the NDIS in WA.


On a quarterly basis, WAAMH will be curating the most vital developments and pieces of knowledge you need to know as the NDIS is rolled out and delivered in WA - with a particular focus on how it's shaping up in relation to psychosocial disability.



1. WA Market review announced!

Implementation on horizon for mid-2019


The NDIS has commenced a WA Market Review to report in April and for implementation in July 2019.  

It will make recommendations on whether NDIS price controls and other market settings, including the recommendations of the NDIS Independent Pricing Review, are appropriate for Western Australia or should be modified.


2. Supports for people not accessing the NDIS in WA

National Psychosocial Support measure and Continuity of Supports


The National Psychosocial Support (NPS) measure

Just $2M a year for 4 years has been provided by the Commonwealth to provide services to Western Australians with psychosocial disability who have severe mental illness and who are not more appropriately funded by the NDIS.

What this means, and who will be able to access this service is still unclear, but we do know that an assessment of ineligibility for NDIS is not needed for to be eligible for NPS Measure services. One of the main objectives is a reduction in the need for more intense and acute health services, through providing an integration of psychosocial supports with clinical supports.


Timelines are tight – WA Primary Health Alliance must put in place interim programs by February through to June.


WAPHA has committed to work with consumers to identify what they would like the services to achieve – which will inform the design and commissioning of the long-term services that will run from July 2019. WAAMH is part of a reference group to inform this process.

Continuity of Supports

During 2019, WAPHA will also commission services for people who previously accessed programs funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health: Partners in Recovery, Day to Day Living and Personal Helpers and Mentors.  These programs are transitioning to the NDIS, and a new program called Continuity of Supports (CoS) will support those people who are not eligible for the NDIS from July 2019.


WAAMH contributed to Community Mental Health Australia’s Position Statement on Continuity of Supports, which was developed in early 2018 to provide advice on what continuity of support should look like.

CoS funding is a drop in the ocean compared to these existing services, and with little information from federal government, we can’t yet see what these services will look like or how they will support consumers to achieve similar recovery outcomes to these existing programs.


More information on WAPHA’s website.


3. Advocacy & representation WAAMH hosts Psychosocial Disability Forum

Presentation now available


In September, WAAMH hosted an event for providers with Dr Gerry Naughtin, Strategic Advisor on Mental Health to the National Disability Insurance Agency, organised and funded by the NDIA. This event outlined in depth some of the changes the NDIS is making to improve access to the scheme for people with psychosocial disability, and their experiences once in the NDIS.


Dr Naughtin described how the NDIA sees how the NDIS fits as is just one part of a broader system.


Watch Dr Naughtin's presentation.


Sector Development Events

4. Access and Psychosocial Disability Forum and Pricing and delivering recovery-based services in NDIS


Pricing and delivering recovery-based services in NDIS

In November, WAAMH was joined by 40 mental health representatives at an event focused on the Able Insight survey tool that is available to assist providers to understand how their costs compare to similar providers of recovery-based services in the NDIS. Mental Illness Fellowship of WA CEO Monique Williamson, Lamp CEO Lorrae Loud and Ruah integrated services manager Luke Rowe shared some sage advice about their experiences and learnings in NDIS service delivery.


Access and Psychosocial Disability Forum

In September, WAAMH worked with the NDIA to provide an event focused on access and psychosocial disability, organised and funded by the NDIA.

NDIA mental health team member Elspeth Jordan gave a detailed account of the eligibility rules for the NDIS and how they apply to people with mental health issues, and how people, providers and advocates can make the best access requests for people with psychosocial disability.

Access the slides or watch the recording.


5. WAAMH advocacy and sector representation

WAAMH is representing our members on some of the many NDIS committees currently operating in WA


1. NDIS Transition Governance Advisory Group
This group informs the WA Disability Services Minister Stephen Dawson on NDIS issues. It has representation from peak bodies, consumers and family representative organisations and providers. It last met in October and discussed the workforce and market issues affecting providers with presentations from the State Training Board about its forthcoming Social Assistance and Allied Health Workforce Strategy and United Voice, and discussions on NDS’ 2017 WA Disability Services Sector Industry Plan.


2. NDIS Transition Operations Advisory Group (WA)
This group provides advice to the NDIA to support of the successful transition of participants from the WA National Disability Insurance Scheme (WA NDIS) to the NDIS and transition to full scheme. It has representation from consumer leaders and representatives, disability and mental health peak bodies, the WA Disability Services Commission Board and the Minister Advisory Council for Disability. 

It last met in October and received updates on NDIS transition and transfer, and discussed quality and safeguarding arrangements in WA.


3. WAPHA’s National Psychosocial Measure Reference Group
WAAMH is a member of this reference group established to advise WAPHA on the National Psychosocial Support (NPS) measure - a new service for people who need psychosocial support – see section 2 in this newsletter for more details.


6. NDIA responds to national advocacy calling for better mental health pathways

Specialised planners for people with psychosocial disability


In October, the NDIS announced it would make significant change to the NDIS for people with psychosocial disability – with a new stream which will include:


  • the employment of specialised planners and Local Area Coordinators;
  • better linkages between mental health services and National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) staff, partners and;
  • a focus on recovery-based planning and episodic needs.

This announcement puts in place many of the calls made by national peak Mental Health Australia in its Psychosocial Pathway Project.

We are working to get more detail on how these changes will roll out – watch this space!


7. WA LAC providers announced!


Department of Social Services has announced the WA providers for Local Area Coordination (LAC) in the NDIS will be:

  • WAAMH member, Mission Australia: Central North Metro, South East Metro and North East Metro.
  • Advanced Personnel Management (APM): North Metro, Central South Metro, South Metro, South West, Great Southern and the Inner Wheatbelt.
  • NDIA: Kimberley, Pilbara, Midwest-Gascoyne, Goldfields, Esperance and Outer Wheatbelt.

Mission Australia and APM are recruiting for Local Areas Coordinators now, and are expected to commence services in January. WAAMH will approach these organisations to call for their services to be accessible and responsive to people with psychosocial disability.


8. Croakey releases report into 2nd National NDIS and Mental Health Conference


INDEPENDENT social and health publication, Croakey has released a detailed report covering the 2nd National NDIS and Mental Health Conference, held by our national peak Community Mental Health Australia across October and November this year.

WAAMH representatives found the conference had a stronger focus on the other parts of the mental health system that need to be strengthened, with less focus on practical NDIS innovation, compared to last year’s conference. The conference slides can be accessed here.


9. Give us your input!


WAAMH Systemic Advocacy Manager Chelsea McKinney is taking the lead on our NDIS work and wants to hear from you. Please give her a call on 08 6246 3000 or email at cmckinney@waamh.org.au to discuss any concerns or unanswered questions you have about NDIS transition or policy issues.


We are currently scoping more opportunities to support our members in NDIS transition, so please tell us: what supports do you need as a provider to move into and thrive in the NDIS?


WAAMH has also established an open 'WA NDIS & Mental Health' group on professional social media forum, Linkedin to facilitate real time discussion for us all surrounding some of the issues we are facing with the NDIS roll-out. This will allow timely opportunity to share experiences immediately and navigate solutions given the fast-paced and ever-shifting reform space we are operating within. Please feel free to join the group!


We look forward to hearing from you and being in touch again soon!