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The importance of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

The NDIS is the new nation-wide program that helps Australians with a disability or medical illness to receive support. The scheme aims to give people and their families/carers the choice and freedom to choose what support and services they want to engage in.

Central to the vision of this scheme is that all Australians are able to become more self-sufficient, achieve their personal and health goals, and collaborate with their community in a manner of their choosing. This scheme aims to empower and sustain people with disabilities to live meaningful and productive lives.

Psychology is an allied health therapy that ventures to better understand the human mind and behaviour. Psychologists help people with various medical and mental health conditions to improve their ability to cope with their personal, health and social difficulties or issues.

Psychologists work with people and their families/carers of all ages living with a variety of medical conditions and disabilities.

NDIS psychology can help participants with emotional or behavioural difficulties, mental health issues (e.g. depression or anxiety), and people dealing with stress, trauma or grief.

Central to the psychologist-client interaction is the nurturing of an empathetic and supportive relationship, to help people and their families to better manage and cope with life’s challenges.

NDIS psychology can provide support to people in the areas of:

  • Helping in situations of grief, loss or trauma
  • Emotional difficulties (e.g. depression or anxiety, and other negative feelings)
  • Behavioural difficulties or challenges
  • Assisting with transition to school or work
  • Developing social skills
  • Enhancing coping skills
  • Improving relationships with peers and family members
  • Exposure therapy
  • Fears and phobias

This scheme is based on the premise that all Australians have the capacity to fulfil their goals in life and have the chance to be as independent as possible. This engagement often involves not just the individual, but their family, friends and carers.

A person’s teachers and work colleagues may also be involved in interventions. The most relevant and supportive people in an individual’s life can be helped to learn to better deal with the person’s medical condition and difficulties, to be able to more appropriately assist them in times of distress or acute illness.

It is common for psychologists to work with children’s parents or carers, liaise with other medical and health professionals, and consult with a person’s key educational or employment supports.

To qualify for funding and receive NDIS psychology, an individual must be assessed to have a significant or permanent medical condition or disability, and be under 65 years old.

An individual must also have funding in the ‘capacity building support’ category to avail of NDIS psychology sessions. Once funding is available in a participant’s plan, the person and their family/carers can choose which NDIS psychology provider they want to work with.

With the growing number of NDIS service providers, it may be overwhelming looking for a provider. Participants may also choose to engage with a Plan Manager to help them find an appropriate NDIS psychology provider.

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