Step 6 – TIPS: For managing challenges in planning

Check out this video: What barriers or challenges have you faced with the NDIS?

The transcript of this video is here:Transcript-Barriers

The NDIS is still building knowledge about mental health conditions and psychosocial disability, so you may find challenges when participating in NDIS planning. The NDIA will work with you to keep improving the NDIS based on your and other people’s feedback.

The following are some possible challenges people living with mental health conditions will face with the NDIS and some tips to manage them.

Each plan is different so there is no specific timeframe. If your plan is more detailed with complex support arrangements, it may take longer. You need to agree to the supports in your plan before it is put into action. This is why it’s important to be prepared for the NDIS. If you have supports currently, these should continue until you transition into the NDIS.

NDIS planning can be stressful. It can also remind you of past experiences that were distressing. It is important to look after your health and wellbeing during NDIS processes. Check out the ‘Self Care Hub’ for some tips:

Self Care Hub

To avoid getting a plan that doesn’t meet your needs, and going through a review process, it is important to prepare as much as possible before your first NDIS planning meeting.

Some things to remember:

(And you can use the reimagine.today workbook or app to help you!)

  • Be prepared. Gather lots of information about your needs and the supports you want, so you can discuss these in your planning meeting 
  • Think about your aspirations, goals and the supports you need to help with the planning process
  • Choose someone to support you or be your advocate and assist you with the planning meeting 
  • Speak up, ask questions and express your views and concerns
  • If you disagree with an NDIS planning decision you can ask for a review.

The only way your NDIS plan can be shared with other people is for you to share it. You might give copies of your plan to important people in your life including:

  • Your family and friends, those who support you day-to-day (your carers) or those who support you when you aren’t able to manage on your own
  • Your GP and other health or mental health care providers
  • Organisations or people you pay to provide NDIS services.

Sharing your plan means you are more likely to receive coordinated health treatment and social support. But this is your choice and you have control; you don’t have to share your plan with anyone.

Some of your funded NDIS services can be bundled and used flexibly. This means if your circumstances change, or if you become unwell, you can access more support without asking the NDIA for a plan review. You need to make sure your service providers know you have bundled services, and provide them with notice if you wish to change your supports (the amount of notice you need to give is in your service agreement).

This arrangement can be included in your plan. If you self-manage your funding, you have more choice and control over how and when you get services.

You can use your NDIS funding to purchase services that your carer, family and friends provide to help you. Some examples of what your funds could pay for include:

  • Classes for your partner, children or parents to learn more about mental health conditions and psychosocial disability. This can give them a chance to meet other family, friends and carers to get valuable peer support
  • Education about the NDIS and your plan
  • Respite – this means you can spend time away from home in short-term accommodation, with support.

The NDIS is the biggest social reform since the introduction of Medicare over 30 years ago.  It will take some time for it to work well for people with mental health conditions. People with mental health conditions who access the NDIS benefit from increased levels of support. Increased support increases health and well-being and this is why it’s worth it!

People who received state/territory disability support services may not have noticed their initial transition to the NDIS. Others, including Commonwealth mental health program clients and other people with mental health conditions, may find the application process challenging.

If participating in the NDIS doesn’t seem worth it, speak with someone you trust. It may not be your choice for now, or there may be extra support available to help you navigate the NDIS and other services. It is helpful to stay optimistic about the NDIS and other mental health reforms, so that you get support with your recovery.

Interacting with people that seem to have more skills or power than you can be hard. This is especially true if others have treated you badly in the past. Examples of others treating you badly are bullying, harassment, abuse and neglect. It is not OK for these things to happen to you. If you are treated badly you might be fearful of speaking with people or scared to have differences of opinion with people.

You need to know that:

  • When applying for the NDIS there is support available to help you
  • If you’re eligible for NDIS supports, you might get support to develop your self-confidence, to meet new people, or to resolve differences of opinion (this is sometimes called conflict resolution)

If you’re not eligible for the NDIS, it is important to stay hopeful and optimistic about your recovery and seek out the help you need and want to support you with this journey.

To help support your application to the NDIS download the Reimagine Your Life Workbook

As you explore the 6 steps to accessing the NDIS, you will be guided to activities in the Reimagine Your Life Workbook, where you can complete questions and activities to support your application.

Co-designed with people living with mental health conditions and their support networks.
  • Funded by the

  • Produced by the
    Mental Health Coordinating Council

Accessing the ndis in 6 Steps.