Mental Health reform and the NDIS

The mental health care system in Australia is undergoing significant reform, as futures around NDIS funding are continuing to shape.

The Productivity Commission puts the cost of mental ill health to the Australian economy at $51 billion per year.

It’s estimated that 1 in 5 Australians experience mental ill health every year. $18 billion is spent on mental health services. And, we now lose more people to suicide each year, than road accidents.

The need to improve our mental health system is clear.

The Commission’s enquiry into Mental Health Draft Report was released in 2019, with public submissions closing in late January 2020. The Draft Report calls for action in 4 key areas:
• Efficient funding
• More services
• Early intervention
• Changing attitudes

The past 18 months has seen the transition of people with primary psychosocial disability (a disability that arises from a mental health issue) into the NDIS and, as a result, significant changes in the interface with other mental health, primary care, social and community services.

Of the approximately 690,000 people with a severe mental illness in Australia, 21,700 currently receiving psychosocial supports under the NDIS, with a further 42, 300 considered eligible.

The report looks at the NDIS transition, and improvements that can be made to ensure that people who require services are not ‘falling through the gaps’.

The final enquiry report will be handed to the Australian Government by 23 May 2020.

Further Information

Access the Draft Report at

Community Mental Health Australia is partnering with the Mental Health Coalition of SA to host the 3rd National NDIS and Mental Health Conference in Adelaide in March 2020. The conference looks at how the NDIS can best service those living with mental illness in our communities. Visit:

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