Executive Director February Update

Executive Director February Update

Hope you had a great end of year and welcome to 2017.
NDIS is coming to SA for adults with psychosocial disability. If you or someone close to you has a mental illness and think you might be eligible for NDIS please check the NDIS website for information regarding when the rollout is happening in your area noting that people can start the process up to 6 months prior. Some areas in SA commence rollout on 1 July so the time to start is now.
Just before Christmas some of the concerns we had about the impact of the NDIS roll out on the mental health system made front page news of The Australian. The article revealed government modelling undertaken two years ago in New South Wales and Queensland showing that there are more than 500,000 Australians with severe mental illness. Of this group around 290,000 require psycho-social support in any given year. The NDIS was designed to cater for 57,000 (now revised to 64,000) at full scheme which is a small proportion of people with severe mental illness. Meanwhile, in the process of the Commonwealth and states negotiating how to fund NDIS, some jurisdictions are planning to discontinue services that are currently accessed by a broader group of people with severe mental illness than just those that are the target of the NDIS. So whilst NDIS should lead to more secure funding to meet the needs of around 12% of Australians with severe mental illness, the numbers tell the story of the thousands who stand to be caught in the new gap that will be created as existing services close. You can read the full article here.
Our own survey has shown just over 5,400 people currently receiving NGO Services in SA are unlikely to be eligible for NDIS.
I presented information in full at our 2016 AGM; you can hear that presentation here.
We have made our concerns known to both the Commonwealth and SA Governments.
Over the Christmas break we here at the MHCSA took the quieter time to plan out our advocacy and awareness campaign around the NDIS for 2017. This work will be on multiple levels with meetings with politicians, stakeholders and decision makers and we will target consumer, carer and news stories and spread the word widely on social media.  We will be keeping you up to date with each stage of this campaign through a mid-month update from me and a page dedicated to the NDIS on our website.
If you know of anyone interested in keeping up to date on the mental health aspects of the NDIS rollout in South Australia, they can sign up for updates via our newsletter on our homepage, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
Geoff Harris
Executive Director

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