NDIS Therapy Beats Medicare.
NDIS therapy for mental health, depression, anxiety or bipolar has marked benefits over what has been previously available under Medicare or other avenues. For example, counselling and therapy can be flexibly provided in an agreed upon way. Usually this will be face to face, either at home or a clinic or even a park, it doesn’t matter. Likewise the regularity or frequency can be optimised for you do you have flexibility to use it more often when you choose to (you have some goals) or need to (you are going through a rough patch) or even strategically short term to get back on track.
Why as a coach / therapist / counsellor I am here to do myself out of a job.
As a coach / therapist / counsellor my job in a way is to do myself out of a job. And it is to be focused on your goals. Just because you have got funding for a mental health condition like depression or anxiety or bipolar, doesn’t mean that that is what we spend time talking about. Because NDIS is based on a recovery model and improving wellbeing and psychosocial funding, the idea is that in the long run it is going to cost less because people are going better, and/or that it is going to provide more benefits to people because they have choice and a spirit leaning toward recovery and improving life, not just surviving. So, it is not in your interest, nor in mine, to be just coasting along, just listening, and getting paid for it. People are expecting results and NDIS has opened up the freedom for people to take their funding where they are getting best bang for their buck.
NDIS funding for Capacity Building – Improved Daily Living.
Typically people get funding under Capacity Building – Improved Daily Living. I am told if people use their funding they may get more. If you don’t use it, there is risk you may not receive it the next year. That is not necessarily ideal for the episodic nature of mental health, and it may not be as bad as that. I imagine if people have made no effort to use any funding even though it has been generously provided, then it would be fair to decrease the funding. However at review I would be arguing, if I were you, that you need a reserve to draw on if things deteriorate, that you are actively engaged in doing things to improves your coping and well-being, and having access to quality therapy should the need, or the goal arise, you can do it.
Participant-Based Routine Outcome Measurement (ROM) improves NDIS outcomes.
From a therapy outcomes point of view, I use Routine Outcome Measurement that is determined by the participant to measure how they have been tracking over the past week. This helps see if there are gains and if there are not, then there is opportunity to discuss and address that. Sometimes we are marking time and that is okay, we just really need the support. And that still lines up with my mantra ‘Conversations with Outcomes’ because it is providing support. Yet it also lines up with the possibility of living better.
The other participant-based measurement that I do, which is part of improving client outcomes and remaining in therapy / counselling / coaching (whichever use you want to use, I prefer coach), is the Session Rating Scale. This is where you get to rate how well I heard, understood and respected you; whether we worked on and talked about what you wanted to work on and talk about today; whether my approach is a good fit for you; and overall whether today’s session was about right for you. This lines up very nicely with NDIS’s philosophy or empowering clients, respecting feedback and creating conversations that improve outcomes.
The score is 4 lots of things out of 10, a maximum score of 40 that you can rate me. The bar is tough for me. Anything lower than 36 out of 40 has a known statistically higher chance of treatment dropout. (I don’t like to use the word treatment as a coach, as a coach is more working alongside people to reach their goals, but treatment is the terminology in the research). What research has found is that therapy results are improved when we check in with clients / participants about what THEY think how well things have gone, not how well I think things have gone. That is a refreshing change in the balance of power that can otherwise be a bit overly weighted to the professional helper. It really reminds us that we are here to serve, and in order to do that, we need to listen and check in with people. If we don’t ask, we won’t necessarily know, thus missing an opportunity to change direction or improve what we are doing because the very people we are trying to work with and serve, help direct and guide us to do better.
Consider getting a Disability Advocate onboard before your NDIS Planning Meeting or Review.
So that’s what I like about NDIS. Why I prefer it over Medicare though I do that work too, and sometimes Medicare is all that people have available to them. But if you can access NDIS funding, and you might need to be prepared, see my post here, and additionally it is worthwhile employing a disability advocate to address needs (I can refer you to Lynn Walmsley who has had many years experience at this) because there are apart from therapy per se, things like social activity, individual worker support, etc that help make the things happen that achieve your goals for wellbeing and better psychosocial funding. That’s brillliant.