According to the World Health Organisation, mental health is a state of wellbeing in which every individual realises his/her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to his/her community.
Severe mental health conditions can cause psychological disabilities. Someone living with a mental illness may withdraw from work, education and social activities as it affects thoughts, moods, behaviour and the way people perceive the world around them. People with mental illness may require medication or regular psychological assessments to manage their condition.
The most common mental health conditions include:
Schizophrenia - An illness that disrupts the function of the human mind causing intense episodes of psychosis, delusions, hallucinations and often, longer periods of reduced expression, motivation and functioning.
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) - An anxiety disorder causing obsessive, recurring and unhealthy patterns of behaviour that can directly affect daily functioning. Severe OCD can result in children not attending school and adults becoming housebound.
Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) - A disorder causing a particular set of reactions, that develop in people who have experienced a traumatic event that threatened their safety or life. Someone with PTSD may experience feelings of intense fear and helplessness.
Depression - A serious emotional condition affecting health and wellbeing. It usually results from a combination of recent events and other long-term personal factors such as family history, drug and alcohol use, personality and serious mental illness. People with depression may need medication and regular psychological assessments to manage their condition.
Not all mental conditions are considered a disability under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). If the psychosocial disability is permanent or likely to be permanent, has a significant impact on the person’s everyday life and their ability to participate in the community and is likely to require lifelong support, you may receive NDIS support, providing you meet the other age and residency requirements.
You do not need to have specific mental health diagnosis to receive NDIS support as it all depends on individual circumstances and the impact of the condition on the person’s life.