What Is A Psychosocial Disability?

Guide to psychosocial disability

Approximately 4.6% of Australia’s population is living with a psychosocial disability.

In other words, they have a severe mental illness that makes many aspects of daily life difficult, from socialising and finding suitable housing to maintaining employment and physical health.

Fortunately, disability support services can assist these individuals to surmount functional limitations, participate in their local communities and lead more fulfilling lives.

Below, we explain what a psychosocial disability is, how it ties into the NDIS and the various ways that psychosocial recovery coaching can help. Read on to learn more about this invaluable assistance.

What is a psychosocial disability?

According to the NDIS, a psychosocial disability is a disability that may be due to a mental health issue.

While not everyone who lives with a mental illness has a psychosocial disability, those who do may find it has significant and lasting consequences on their recovery.

With psychosocial disability, mental health conditions affect day-to-day life through two types of behaviour:

  • Psychology – how you view and interpret your experiences, thoughts and emotions; and
  • Social – how you engage with and are perceived by those around you.

More specifically, it can hinder an individual’s ability to:

  • Concentrate on specific tasks;
  • Manage time pressures and other stressors;
  • Remain in specific kinds of environments;
  • Interact and communicate with others;
  • Maintain relationships with family and friends; and
  • Process constructive feedback.

As a consequence, a person with a psychosocial disability may find it challenging to participate in social, education, training and employment activities.

Psychosocial disability examples

Although most mental health conditions impact the ability to function in everyday life to some extent, the following disorders often give rise to psychosocial disabilities:

  • Schizoid disorders, like schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder
  • Mood disorders, including bipolar and depression
  • Anxiety disorders, such as agoraphobia, social phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder

The NDIS and psychosocial disability

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) was established to foster the independence, economic security and social participation of Australians living with a disability. To do this, it provides funding for personalised disability support services and partners with approved providers like Hunter Care Group to deliver them.

That includes non-clinical supports that enhance a participant’s functional ability, such as those that assist people with mental illness to perform daily activities and engage with their community. As of 2021, individuals with a psychosocial disability comprised the third largest disability category amongst NDIS participants.

Importantly, a mental health disorder is not always considered a disability under the NDIS. To be eligible for NDIS support, an individual must demonstrate that their disability is permanent and that they require assistance to live a more independent and fulfilling life.

As mental health conditions are often episodic, individuals with long-lasting, albeit not permanent, psychosocial disabilities may be ineligible.

That said, if you are eligible, you may receive flexible support. NDIS plans for participants with psychosocial disabilities are structured to accommodate mental health fluctuations, depending on specific needs. Your Local Area Coordinator or NDIS planner will create a tailored plan that is revised periodically. You can then select the support you require.

Learn more with the NDIS FAQ sheet on psychosocial disability.

Reporting psychosocial disability to the NDIS

To apply for NDIS support for psychosocial disability, start by completing the Evidence of Psychosocial Disability form with your clinician and support worker. Focusing on your day-to-day functioning, this form simplifies the process of gathering evidence necessary for NDIS eligibility.

Please keep in mind that alongside this form, you must also submit a Verbal Access Request (VAR) or Access Request Form (ARF). This is a mandatory step for anyone seeking NDIS support. Section 2 of the Access Request Form should be filled out by your treating professional.

The information supplied in the Access Request Form is crucial, as it helps the NDIS to determine eligibility based on criteria such as age, residency, and disability requirements.

How can psychosocial recovery coaching help?

Psychosocial recovery coaching is a strengths-based disability support funded by the NDIS. When it comes to psychosocial disability, ‘recovered’ does not mean ‘cured’. Instead, it refers to being able to reach a healthy level of personal, emotional and social wellbeing in everyday life.

With specialist knowledge of psychosocial recovery and the mental health system, psychosocial recovery coaches (PRCs) can assist participants with psychosocial disabilities to take control of their daily activities and lead full, contributing lives.

They collaborate with the participant, their carer and other service providers to design and deliver an individualised recovery plan.

At Hunter Care Group, our PRCs are here to:

  • Help you prepare and implement a personalised recovery plan;
  • Develop a framework to help manage the difficulties of everyday life.
  • Guide you to strengthen recovery capabilities, such as decision-making, problem-solving and self-motivation; and
  • Assist with the coordination of NDIS supports and other service providers.

Discover psychosocial recovery coaching in the Hunter

At Hunter Care Group, we provide psychosocial recovery coaching to help NDIS participants with a psychosocial disability manage life’s challenges with strengths-based support.

Building day-to-day skills and confidence in a safe space, our PCRs can serve as mentors, guides and facilitators to empower you to reach your goals.

As a Registered NDIS Service Provider and experienced provider of non-clinical mental health services, we can:

  • Offer guidance on goal-setting and ways to achieve these objectives
  • Help you to strengthen your sense of autonomy and independence
  • Encourage greater involvement in the community
  • Cultivate your personal skills and confidence
  • Equip you with coping mechanisms for daily tasks like navigating public transport, housekeeping, and budgeting
  • Help you to access other supports, such as medical, accommodation, or family care services
  • Help you secure a job through skill development, training programs, and specialised employment services
  • Work with service providers, family members, and caregivers to ensure a comprehensive support system.

To learn more about our NDIS support services in Newcastle, please get in touch with our friendly team at (02) 4950 2269 or enquire online. We are always happy to hear from our community.