Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 10 Hansard (Tuesday, 12 September 2017) . . Page.. 3520 ..
A critical and developing part of this service system is the national disability insurance scheme. As at 30 June this year, the primary disability identified for 12 per cent of all active NDIS participants with approved plans in the ACT was a psychosocial disability. This is the highest portion nationally and is significantly higher than the seven per cent portion nationally. Psychosocial disability is the term used to describe disabilities that may arise from mental health issues. Whilst not everyone who has a mental health issue will experience psychosocial disability, those who do can experience severe impacts, including material disadvantage and social exclusion.
The June 2017 NDIA report to COAG stated that 728 ACT participants have a psychosocial disability as their primary diagnosis. However, as the ACT government highlighted in our submission to the Productivity Commission inquiry into the NDIS, engagement with new services and providers continues to be a concern for people with psychosocial disability, particularly where the person is explicitly unwilling to engage with services. At the same time, we have heard that those with mental illness who are not found to be eligible for the NDIS have experienced reduced access to community activities.
Support for people with psychosocial disability under the NDIS is one of the issues that the ACT Office for Disability continues to address with the National Disability Insurance Agency. The Office for Disability, which was established late last year, continues to provide strategic advice and practical assistance to enable people with disability to enjoy their rights as citizens of the ACT and to assist in the implementation of the NDIS in the ACT.
This year’s budget included $2.2 million over four years to strengthen the Office for Disability’s ongoing policy and oversight responsibilities in the ACT under the NDIS. The Office for Disability will work closely with the office for mental health to ensure that we take a coordinated approach to supporting and including people right across our community. I look forward to continuing to work with Minister Rattenbury on the issues where our portfolio responsibilities intersect, to seeing the outcomes of the consultation and how the office for mental health operates later in this financial year. I commend Minister Rattenbury for his ongoing commitment to this extremely important initiative.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in care
MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Community Services and Social Inclusion, Minister for Disability, Children and Youth, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations) (11.18): There is considerable concern in the ACT community about the increasing number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in out of home care. This concern is shared by the