Voices for Recovery


National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) is a national observance held in America every September for the last 27 years to educate that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with a mental and/or substance use disorder to live a healthy and rewarding life.

The 2018 Recovery Month theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Invest in Health, Home, Purpose, and Community” explores how integrated care, a strong community, sense of purpose, and leadership contributes to e ective treatments that sustain the recovery of persons with mental and substance use disorders.

In 2018 the Australian working group aims to increase awareness and encourage audiences to take advantage of the increased dialogue around the nation’s behavioral health needs and the increased emphasis on tackling our nation’s opioid crisis

Register your interest in the event

New NDIS pathway released to improve participant and provider experience


The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has released details of a new National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) ‘pathway’ designed to significantly improve the experience people and organisations have with the ground-breaking NDIS.

The pathway refers to the experience participants and providers have from their first interaction to their ongoing engagement with the NDIS.

Central to the new participant pathway is the delivery of face-to-face engagement for all NDIS plan development, based on the individual’s preference. This improvement has already resulted in a substantial increase in the number of plans being developed in person.
Having learned from the past, the new pathway will now be progressively piloted and tested over the coming months before being rolled out nationally. The NDIA will continue to engage with stakeholders on the testing and implementation of the new pathway.
The new pathway will include:
A consistent point of contact, who plays a key role in empowering participants to achieve outcomes
Planning being undertaken with a skilled Local Area Coordinator or NDIA planner who will spend time understanding the unique needs of each participant

A stronger focus on the broader system of supports for people with disability, including other government services such as health, education and transport, to promote greater inclusion and a sense of community for people with disability

Communication which emphasises the objectives of the NDIS, with a clear focus on outcomes and goals during planning discussions

Information that is clear, consistent and available in accessible formats, such as plain English and braille

An improved NDIS portal and tools, combined with more straightforward processes that will reduce the administrative cost for providers.

NDIA Chief Executive Officer, Robert De Luca, said the new pathway was the result of a collaborative review the NDIA undertook in response to feedback from participants and providers that their experience was not meeting expected standards.

“The purpose of the NDIA is to empower people with disability to choose and achieve their goals in inclusive communities and workplaces,” Mr De Luca said.
“We must ensure people with disability, their families, carers and providers are confident to engage with and navigate the NDIS.
 “We also need a strong and vibrant provider market that contributes to improving outcomes for participants. As part of the new provider pathway, the NDIA will provide better information and insights to support business decisions and make it easier for providers to transact with the Scheme and connect with participants.
“Implementing all improvements will take time, but we are committed to responding as quickly as possible to the feedback. It is important to get the new pathway experience right before implementing all the improvements across Australia. To that end, we will be proceeding to pilot the new pathway before it is rolled out nationally.”
Work is also underway to develop tailored pathways to ensure the NDIA has the right response for all participants, including people with psychosocial disability, children, people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and people with more complex needs.
The NDIA thanks the many people who participated in the review for their time and valuable contributions and looks forward to a continued relationship.
The NDIS is already making a difference in the lives of more than 100,000 Australians with disability, their families and carers.
“While the NDIS is a world first and there is no template to follow, the NDIA is committed to the continuous improvement of processes, systems and operations to ensure the NDIS delivers on its promise,” Mr De Luca concluded.
Disability Loop plain language translation – What are the new changes to the NDIS pathway? (external)
Overview of new participant pathway (PDF 331KB)

Overview of new participant pathway (DOCX 211KB)

Overview of new participant pathway (HTML 8KB)

Easy English – A new way we want to work with you (PDF 1MB)

Easy English – A new way we want to work with you (DOCX 18KB)

Easy English – A new way we want to work with you (HTML 11KB)

Speaking frankly…  New psychosocial gateway must smooth the road for psychosocial support in the NDIS

Taken from Mental Health Australia newsletters-bulletins

When Every Australian Counts Executive Director, Kirsten Deane spoke on the ABC 730 Report this week about the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), she echoed the thoughts of many.

“Everyone, absolutely everyone, wants the NDIS to work… And while I don’t think anyone thought this was going to be easy, the really big question is, has the road to the NDIS been rockier than it needed to be?’ said Ms Deane.

For those in need of psychosocial support it has been an especially rocky road. A road closed to many, , and a road that’s thrown up too many road blocks, detours and delays for countless others.

This week, the Productivity Commission’s Costs report into the NDIS has been delivered, and has made key recommendations to start fixing that road.

Most importantly, Recommendation 4.4, calling for a specialist psychosocial gateway provides a clear direction for mental health and the NDIS. It has been a long time coming, but now we must get on and make it work.
The National Disability Insurance Agency should implement a psychosocial gateway. The gateway should be the primary pathway that people with psychosocial disability enter the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

The gateway should: 
· use specialised staff 

· operate on a face-to-face basis to the greatest extent possible 

· consider models of outreach to engage people with psychosocial disability who are unlikely to approach the scheme 

· provide linkages to both clinical and non-clinical services and supports outside the scheme · collect data on both entrants into the scheme and people linked to services and supports outside the scheme.

Having foreseen and highlighted this need, Mental Health Australia has welcomed the intent, applauds the acknowledgment, but most importantly is looking forward to working with Governments, the NDIA, the sector, stakeholders and consumers and carers to ensure this gateway is a success.
But if this is going to work, there is a lot to do. The new gateway will not succeed if it is merely another lane on a highway that is too congested. The new gateway must bravely take a new direction. It must start with the lived experience of those living with psychosocial disability, and must follow whatever new pathway and processes that experience determines.
Kirsten is right, implementing such generational reform as the NDIS was never going to be easy. The teething problems have affected real people, undermined the Scheme, and reduced public confidence. This report is our chance to fix those issues, before the cracks become far too big to repair.
For the thousands of people struggling to navigate the NDIS on daily basis, this week’s announcement may not have registered directly, and probably won’t have helped with their ongoing daily frustration and confusion… in the immediate sense that is.
But after years of trials and false dawns this is our chance, and we must all commit to doing everything we can to make it work.
Warm regards,
Frank Quinlan
Chief Executive Officer

Media Release 
Psychosocial gateway for NDIS welcomed by Mental Health Australia

Mental Health Australia has welcomed the Productivity Commission’s report on National Disability Insurance Scheme Costs, recommending the need for a specialist gateway for people with psychosocial disability entering the NDIS. Mental Health Australia CEO Frank Quinlan said the PC report lays out clear actions to resolve long standing implementation barriers.

 “Efforts to date have failed to put the needs of people who live with psychosocial disability at the centre of implementation plans, the Productivity Commission report corrects this,” said Mr Quinlan.