Locals hear how NDIS can support mental health issues

Flourish Australia’s NDIS business manager Mark Cliff (third from the left) with some of the participants at Friday’s NDIS information session. The session had a focus on providing information about mental health and psychosocial disabilities.

Flourish Australia, which supports local mental health and wellbeing, held an information session in Cobar on Friday to help locals learn how to access the new National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

The session was facilitated by Mark Cliff, Flourish Australia’s NDIS business manager.

“It’s not so much a forum, really I’m facilitating a conversation,” Mr Cliff told The Cobar Weekly.

“I’m not here to tell people how it is.

“I’m here to listen to their concerns and hopefully clarify some information.”

Mr Cliff said Flourish Australia has been going out into the community to provide support for people with mental health issues, family carers and providers to help them get a better understanding of how people with a mental health issue can access the NDIS.

“There’s been some misconception around mental health and the National Insurance Disability Scheme,” Mr Cliff said.

“This NDIS new roadshow or forum that we’ve held across a number of sites is really  about clearing some of that of up so that people can move forward and support their loved ones with accessing the NDIS.”

Mr Cliff said the two hour session is run as a relaxed discussion to help clear up people’s concerns about NDIS and to provide information around what psychosocial disability actually means for people with mental health issues.

Psychosocial disability is a term used to describe disabilities that may arise due to mental health issues, and refers to the social consequences of the disability and how it impacts on a person’s life.

People affected by psychosocial disability find it much more difficult to communicate, set goals and make plans, engage in education, training and employment, be included in social and cultural activities, find suitable housing and maintain their physical health.

“Often people with mental health issues experience most of, if not all of this,” Mr Cliff said.

“This session targets and has a strong focus on mental health and psychosocial disability and understanding the language, and what people  need to think about in preparation.”

He said many other NDIS information sessions have provided a large overview of what the scheme’s all about, however Flourish
Australia’s session are specific to mental health.

“However if you take mental health out of it, the concept and the examples that we give, you can pick that up and use if for anyone—someone with mental health issues, a physical disability or an intellectual disability,” he said.

Mr Cliff said Flourish Australia has received some very favourable feedback from their NDIS seminars.