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Afternoon workshops

Workshop A

Who will care for the carers in the post NDIS world? Sponsored by Wellways.

The NDIS expert panel was titled Who will care for the carers in the post NDIS world? A broad representation of the sector was present in the panel: VICSERV as a policy body, North Area Mental Health Service as a provider, North West Primary Health Network, The Brotherhood of St Lawrence as one of the LACs, and Wellways as a service and planning provider.

From a policy perspective, concerns were highlighted on the retreat of the MHCSS and the vacuum this leaves in the psychosocial rehabilitation space – further with the phasing out of PIR/PHaMs/D2DL. The potential for PHNs to enter this space was explored but it is, as far as we are aware, not a given that their involvement in that space will be stepping up.

NAMHS presented on their progress in involving family, friends and carers in the formulating NDIS plans and in a clinical mental health setting, and presented resources that they distribute to assist a patient's support network to make informed decisions as to their ongoing care.

The Brotherhood of St Lawrence walked the audience through the LAC, planning and review process for creating an NDIS plan. They also made mention of their efforts to involve the support network of any NDIS participants in the planning process should they have any.

Wellways panelists from the Geelong site reflected on theirs and carers experience of the NDIS and the planning process. Feedback from their clients was varied. Carer respite was a mixed bag, the most effective form of carer respite emerging was ‘respite by association’ – meaning respite that occurred from a client’s involvement in an external service or community integration program. Indeed it was regarded as more effective and satisfying to those caring for a client than the traditional carer respite program, however this did not always extend to provide any respite for mental health carers seeking socially inclusive respite. This effectively reveals a part of the gap between the mental health sector and the NDIS. Concerns were also raised by audience members as to the lack of services available to carers when participants were not eligible for or refused to participate in the NDIS.

North Western Primary Health Network presented on their work around the suicide prevention framework and their ongoing engagment with GPs to educate them on the benefits of involving support networks of patients. Closing on a call to continue the importance of advocacy for patients and clients by those who care for them as they assisted in their efforts better illustrate the point to those whose practices they are seeking to change.

 View the NDIS discussion here.


Workshop B

A place to call home: Housing and mental health. Sponsored by Mind Australia.