Psychosocial recovery coaches are a relatively new support available under the NDIS. A psychosocial recovery coach is a specialist mental health support person that some NDIS participants with mental health conditions may have access to under their plans.
The role of a recovery coach is to assist people with disabilities arising from mental health conditions to live a full and contributing life.
But what exactly does a recovery coach do and what can you expect if you work with one? Today, we explore how this new support works.
About psychosocial recovery coaches.
Recovery coaches are support people with mental health qualifications. They need to have either lived experience with mental illness or extensive knowledge about psychosocial disability and mental health.
They will bring specialist skills and knowledge to help people with psychosocial disabilities take control of their lives and navigate both the NDIS and the mental health system.
A psychosocial disability is a disability that may arise from a mental health condition. Check out our article on Psychosocial disability and the NDIS for details.
What can a psychosocial recovery coach help with?
- Implement a recovery plan to help you become more independent
- Help you get the most from your NDIS Plan
- Assist with coordination of NDIS supports
- Provide coaching to increase skills and capacity such as motivation, strengths, resilience and decision-making
- Connect you with mainstream supports.
Nicholas Marcinkowski from Recovery Plus Support, a provider of psychosocial recovery services, says that you may be eligible for a psychosocial recovery coach if you have a psychosocial disability. A local area coordinator or NDIA planner will be able to provide you with options on which providers may suit you best, however the choice always remains with the participant.
“Our role is then to work with your informal supports, formal supports and other key stakeholders to connect you with all the necessary support to ensure a smooth recovery journey,” Nicholas said.
“We work with you to create a clear plan of action to help you achieve your goals. Then provide expertise, encouragement and support for you to make positive changes in your life.”
What will a psychosocial recovery coach do?
Recovery Plus Support has created a 10-step journey so you know what to expect when working with a psychosocial recovery coach.
- A referral is received by the psychosocial recovery coach provider
- An initial meeting to get to know your coach and share information about yourself
- The coach will do an assessment to help determine supports that may be beneficial for you
- The coach will develop an action plan to help you achieve your goals, plus a relapse prevention plan if applicable
- They will connect you with relevant supports or support workers that you both agree on
- A 3-month review is held to track your progress
- They will check in regularly to see if your supports are working for you
- A 9-month review is held to track your progress
- They will help you prepare for your NDIS Plan Review including outlining your accomplishments and any new supports required
- Your NDIS Plan Review.
What to look for in a psychological recovery coach.
- Someone you are comfortable talking to about your mental health
- Experience working in the mental health field. Ask for background information or look on the organisation’s website for a profile
- Good networks and connections to other services and supports
- The ability to interact in a way that works for you. For example face-to-face meetings or meetings at a park or other location that you’re comfortable with.
Nicholas says that while it can be challenging getting your head around a new type of support, Recovery Plus Support has seen many clients achieve their goals with this additional level of assistance.
“We had been working with an NDIS participant living with a psychosocial disability who had been resistant to any support and completely disengaged. Our recovery coach visited once a week, each time working with the participant to foster independence. After several weeks, he was able to express his passion to his coach and follow through on his self-identified goals.”
“Empathy, persistence, flexibility and reliability are really important qualities for a psychosocial recovery coach,” Nicholas said.
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