In late 2018, the Social Development Committee (SDC) of the South Australian Parliament resolved to inquire into and report on the provision of services for people with mental illness under the transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), and SACOSS was invited to present.
When SACOSS first received the invitation we were initially hesitant to provide a submission, not because the issues are insignificant or irrelevant to our stakeholder population, but because the transition to NDIS is still fluid. Currently, it is very difficult to clearly understand what is happening and predict where we will be in 6 months, or a year, and this is particularly so for people who experience poor mental health and the services that support them.
People with profound mental health issues are some of the most complex in terms of their needs and are one of the last groups to transition into the NDIS scheme. In this context, we still have relatively immature experience about how the scheme is functioning for this cohort. However, with that caveat, SACOSS presented to the SDC regarding a range of issues of concern.
In preparation for our presentation to the SDC, we spoke with numerous significant stakeholders including the Mental Health Coalition of SA, Mental Health Commissioner, the Public Advocate and the Aboriginal Health Council of SA.