Editors Note: The NDIA needs to issue more clear guidelines and advice as to who are eligible for support under the NDIS based on psycho-social disabilities and mental health issues. Psychiatric disability is a confusing area and many treatment or assistance programs are being moved into the NDIS and not everyone currently benefitting from those programs will necessarily be eligible for individual support under the NDIS. We are yet to see what support will remain available for those not eligible for the NDIS but still suffering some degree of impairment due to psychiatric issues.


People with a mental illness must demonstrate a psychosocial disability to be eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), however a recent survey has revealed most respondents do not know what that means.

The annual survey was conducted by the ACT Mental Health Consumer Network.

Terri Warner, chair of the network, told 666 ABC Canberra a psychosocial disability related to the way a person with a mental illness was able to interact with the world — something that could vary widely from person to person.

“You may have a person with a generalised anxiety disorder who is able to work full-time, interact socially and have relationships with their friends and the community, and you can have someone with the same diagnosis who cannot leave their house,” she said.

“So the person in that first example would not have a psychosocial disability, but the person in the second example certainly would.”

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Support to access scheme

The survey results come amid reports that funding for networks that support and employ people with mental health-related disabilities was being redirected to the NDIS.

The ACT Mental Illness Fellowship has been forced to close two of its cafes that trained and employed people with a mental illness after funding cuts.

Thirteen participants who were effectively contracted employees under the fellowship program will be out of work in the coming months.

Spokesperson Laura Collister said the fellowship would help those employees access the NDIS and would redevelop their services…

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