Step 5

Assistance you may need and want

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In the NDIS there are lots of choices and decisions you will be asked to make.  You will be able to choose the types of supports you want and decide how they are delivered to you. You may be given the opportunity to make choices about things you have never been able to choose before, such as how often and when you are visited by a support worker, or what activities you could do during the day.

The NDIS supports your right to choose and this can include choosing to have someone support you to make decisions. You do not have to make decisions on your own if you don’t want to. Sometimes having someone to talk it through with can help you make a decision. They may ask you questions, discuss the pros and cons or give you other ideas that you hadn’t thought about.

Is there someone who you trust that could help you decide? It could be a family member, friend, support worker or a community member.

When you choose to have others support you in your decision-making, this is called supported decision-making.

Supported decision-making

Supported decision-making is a way of describing how another person can support you to make choices. It is fine to need support when making decisions, especially difficult ones, and it is your right to ask for support. You may find making decisions about certain types of things – such as money, housing, health and relationships particularly difficult. You may need different levels of support at different times.

Actively asking for someone’s thoughts, but choosing whether or not to accept their suggestions, puts you in control of your decisions. You are still in a position to make the final decision but this person can help you think about what is important to you, what your goals are and how you would like to proceed. You have the choice to make decisions even if other people do not agree with you.

Your supporters can assist you yo work through all the steps of the decision-making process including:

  • Helping you gather and understand relevant information
  • Helping you consider the benefits and risks in making a particular decision
  • Exploring the possible outcomes of a decision, for you and others in your life
  • Identifying a plan to make the decision happen

The person you ask to support you make a decision should listen and promote what you want or prefer. They should not attempt to change your decision. They should respect your decision whether or not they agree with it, and provide you with as much time as you need to make a decision. A good support person will be looking to support you to achieve your goals.

To explore how supported decision-making further please check out these websites:

www.support-my-decision.org.au

This website is for people who would like some online support to help them make decisions. It is a simple and informative step-by-step tool that includes: exploring a decision, learning about decision-making and giving decision-making support, from both the decision maker, and supporter’s perspective.

http://research.healthtalkaustralia.org/supported-decision-making/overview

This website has some great information and videos about supported decision making from the perspective of people living with a mental health condition.

Supports for reimagining your life

The next section will help you think through where you are in your life now and where you would like to be in the future. The NDIS is there to support you to live a meaningful life. You can use this support to help you manage your life as it is now, but more than that you can also use it to help move towards the life you might dream about.

To do this you will need to understand your daily activities and support needs, understand your hopes and dreams and set some goals to work towards. The reimagine.today website provides you with guidance to do this by yourself or with someone by your side. Sometimes thinking about your future can be confusing. Often people find it hard to set goals, whether they are living with a mental health condition or not, so you may want to choose someone you know and trust to support you.

Who are my support people?

There are many people who may support you in your life. They might help you every day or only sometimes. When thinking about your future it is helpful to think who you might need support from and how they could support you.

In your reimagine.today workbook under ‘Important Contacts’ make a list of the people who support you now and how they help you. You can go back and add people to this list at any time as your support list might change and grow.

From the list of support people you could choose the person, or people, who can help you start to reimagine your life.

It is also useful to think about where you will discuss things with your support person, and how much time you may need to think about these matters. A comfortable place and a relaxed timeframe will make a big difference to the outcome you want to achieve.

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The reimagine.today workbook can help you prepare for the NDIS