Psychosocial support for people with severe mental illness

Links on this page provide information about how to access psychosocial support under a range of Australian Government programs to assist people with mental illness.

Page last updated: 25 July 2019

Psychosocial support includes supports and services which aim to help people with severe mental illness who are not more appropriately funded through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to increase their ability to do everyday activities through a range of non-clinical community based support.

In the 2017-18 Budget the Government committed $80 million over four years for the National Psychosocial Support (NPS) measure. The purpose of the NPS measure is to provide psychosocial support services to assist people with severe mental illness resulting in reduced psychosocial functional capacity who are not more appropriately supported through the NDIS and/or who are yet to test their eligibility for the NDIS.

The NPS measure is being implemented through purpose specific funding to Primary Health Networks (PHNs) to commission these new services. The States and Territories have matched funding for this measure and the Commonwealth has bilateral agreements in place with each jurisdiction regarding their continuing or enhanced investment in psychosocial services.

In the 2018-19 Federal Budget the Government also announced $109.8 million for Continuity of Support (CoS). This measure will provide current Partners in Recovery (PIR), Support for Day to Day Living (D2DL) or Personal Helpers and Mentors (PHaMs) clients who are found ineligible for supports under the NDIS with supports to achieve similar outcomes to those they received in the previous programs.

In addition, on 21 March 2019, the Australian Government announced purpose specific funding of $121.29 million over 12 months to support the transition of Commonwealth community mental health clients to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) or CoS.

PHNs will support Commonwealth community mental health clients to transition to the NDIS, CoS or NPS and will commission services to deliver support to clients under CoS and NPS. Contact information for the PHNs can be found at PHN Contacts.

Continuity of Support

CoS is a program that will provide psychosocial support to people who are currently accessing services from PIR, D2DL or PHaMS and have been assessed as being ineligible for the NDIS. Support and services commissioned through the PHNs will help clients to achieve similar outcomes to those they received from PIR, D2DL and PHaMS. This measure will provide ongoing funding, ensuring CoS clients have access to long-term, responsive support.

CoS is available from 1 July 2019.

National Psychosocial Support Measure

NPS will provide psychosocial support:

  • to people with severe mental illness who are not currently receiving supports through another program, or
  • for a period of 12 months to existing clients of PIR, D2DL or PHaMS who have not yet tested eligibility for supports under the NDIS, or who are waiting to receive an access decision or approved support plan for the NDIS.

NPS became available on 1 January 2019.

For more information go to The National Support Measure.

NDIS Transition Support Project

The Department of Health has funded Flinders University to support PHNs through the NDIS Transition Support Project.

For further information on the Flinders University Transition Support Project.

Interface Funding

To support PHNs co-design and commission services for their local areas the Department of Health and the Department of Social Services committed $19.1 million from 1 July 2019 to assist PHNs to strengthen the interface between the NDIS and Commonwealth psychosocial supports. This funding will assist PHNs plan and commission services and establish pathways to support the transition of clients to new arrangements to ensure participants have access to appropriate services at the right time.

Fact Sheets for Commonwealth Psychosocial Support Supporting new clients and Commonwealth community mental health client’s to access psychosocial support – NDIS, CoS and NPS

PDF version: Fact Sheet for Clients and Carers (PDF 184 KB)
MS Word Fact Sheet for Clients and Carers (Word 173 KB)

PDF version: Fact Sheet for Primary Health Networks (PDF 211 KB)
MS Word: Fact Sheet for Primary Health Networks (Word 171 KB)

PDF version: Fact Sheet for PIR, D2DL and PHaMs Providers (PDF 209 KB)
MS Word: Fact Sheet for PIR, D2DL and PHaMs Providers (Word 165 KB)