1 August 2023
Mind Australia is calling for NDIS reform ahead of national Homelessness Week (1-7 August) to address the vital role housing plays in the recovery journey for people with significant mental health and wellbeing challenges.
The opportunity for people with significant mental health challenges to living a meaningful life, alongside a psychosocial disability is inextricably linked with access to housing.
Psychosocial disability is a disability arising from mental health challenges which can limit an individual’s ability to function, think clearly, enjoy full physical health or manage their social and emotional welfare.
Mind’s research with the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute confirmed a direct relationship between housing and mental health. Mind's research showed a diagnosed mental health condition increases the likelihood that people will be forced to move from their home within one year by 39%, with the likelihood of financial hardship for people experiencing psychological distress increasing by 89% in the following year.
More than 120,000 people are experiencing homelessness on any given night in Australia.
Mind submitted a proposal for a new model of housing with mental health support for people with a psychosocial disability, as one of 10 recommendations in a paper submitted to the NDIS review, which is due to hand down its findings in October this year.
Mind’s submission proposes changes to eligibility criteria and funding structures to put recovery at the centre of housing with support, also known as Home and living support.
The model is based on the success of The Haven Foundation model – part of the Mind Australia Group – an integrated housing and support model which provides long-term, housing with 24/7 on-site support from Mind staff.
People with psychosocial disability represent almost 18% of NDIS participants. More than 15% of THF residents were experiencing homelessness before moving into a Haven residence in the past financial year alone.
The NDIS review provides a genuine opportunity for change that would positively impact people with a psychosocial disability and address the entrenched gaps and barriers caused by NDIA policy and NDIS funding and pricing settings.
The Victorian Government recently announced funding for eight new Haven residences creating more than 106 homes. Planning is also underway for the first Haven residence in South Australia and the New South Wales Labor government has also committed to building the first three Haven residences in the state – with the first to be built on the Central Coast.
Read Mind’s full submission here
Quotes attributable to Gill Callister, Mind Australia CEO (she/her)
“We know many of the people who access our services were experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness.
"People with psychosocial disability represent almost 18% of NDIS participants. Some will require long term housing with support to build their capacity and maintain a level of wellness while living with their disability.
“We are proposing a continuum of support be available, including a nuanced recovery-focused model that can provide participants with support to meet their goals. This proposal includes mechanisms to remove the structural pressures placed on innovative providers caused by fluctuating and opaque NDIS funding, eligibility, and pricing policies, so that they can deliver this essential support to participants with psychosocial disability.”
Quotes attributable to Mark Heeney, The Haven Foundation’s Executive Director Housing Strategy (he/him)
“Our research indicates that holistic approaches that integrate housing and mental health support with other support participant’s need are most likely to assist in recovery.
"Psychosocial disability may include fluctuating and sudden episodes of being unwell and make everyday tasks difficult to complete and overcome. An absence of appropriate housing undermines recovery, dignity, and wellbeing. However, steps to recovery are possible with the right support.”
Mind Australia is one of the largest providers of community-managed psychosocial services in Australia with a range of residential, mobile outreach, centre-based and online services. We provide individualised, evidence-based and recovery focussed support to more than 11,000 people experiencing mental health and wellbeing concerns in Australia every year.
The Haven Foundation provides long-term social housing with support for people with significant mental health and wellbeing concerns.
Mind Senior Manager Communications Tim Doutré: [email protected] or 0447 793 320 (Monday – Wednesday, Friday)
Mind Senior Media Advisor Keagan Ryan: [email protected] or 0408619668 (Tuesday - Friday)