Changes to mental health services we rely on can be a daunting thing to face. For many it can feel as if those most affected by changes – our patients – are being left out of the all-important decision making process. This can cause a great deal of anxiety, stress and worry that vital services may no longer be available. The NDIS rollout gives us a great chance to discuss the role of anxiety in our lives when it comes to big changes. Here are some great ways to manage your anxiety during upheavals in life.
Understanding Your Role
One way to feel empowered during a big change is stepping back. Then assess if this is a situation you can control. A large part of anxiety is a need to control every aspect of your life. By putting things into perspective you can best understand how to adapt to the change and if there are realistic options for you to influence a large scale process like the NDIS.
Learn About the Change
Knowledge is power and stress is often born out of fear of the unknown. Fear can force us to resist what we think is a negative outcome. By learning about changes, like the NDIS, it can make the change easier to face. Further, it can give us power over our own situations. To learn more about the NDIS and how it will be rolled out in your city or state you can:
- Sign up for NDIS news
- Keep up to date through media outlets
- Checking out websites, including the NDIS portal
- Speaking with your doctor about how or whether the changes will affect you
Through learning, we can find ways to participate in the change. Not only does this make us less resistant and more resilient, it also gives us a feeling of control. Further, it creates a connection to the wider community. Attending public meetings, workshops and conferences can help you not only get more information but make your voice, views and opinions heard. If attending a public event is overwhelming, you can still get involved. Submit letters, concerns and feedback to your local newspaper, participate in blogs discussing the issue, or even send your views to your local parliament member.
Remembering to care for yourself during periods of change is important. Practice good mental health fitness can help you be more resilient to change. If you begin to feel overwhelmed, you can always draw back from the issue for a time to assess and reassess your responses to the situation. Discussing your concerns with your primary mental health physician can help you centre yourself once more and make change a positive experience.
Further on positive experiences is making sure you celebrate them when they happen. Focusing on the good in change can decrease anxiety and stress, making your more resilient. Don’t worry if you struggle to see the positives at first. Sometimes they won’t appear immediately obvious to us when we’re experiencing change. However, if you stay informed and as connected as you feel comfortable with, then you will be able to recognise when a positive change has been made.
They may not be initially obvious – and don’t worry if they aren’t – but by staying informed and connecting with representative organisations you’ll be well positioned to act, if and when the opportunity arises.
NDIS and Mental Health Care Plan
So what does the NDIS bring to us and who can benefit? There are several wonderfully positive points to the NDIS. These include:
- Support and care plans for those with mental health problems that last longer than six months and need the care of three or more health professionals
- The NDIS acknowledges that everyone’s treatments are different. A care plan helps you and your doctor – or doctors – work out the best services to help you
- Care plans on the NDIS will explain the support provided by each member of your team, ensuring each professional understands their role and responsibility in your health
- Further, care plans will be reviewed regularly to ensure the continue to meet your needs and will be adjusted as needed to support you
Why May You Need a Mental Health Care Plan?
Your ongoing care and support may require the involvement of several different doctors and organisations. These may be GPs, psychologists, nurses, psychiatrists, community care providers and counsellors. A mental health care plan makes sure every one is on the same page – relieving you of the stress that comes with trying to juggle all your different doctors. This way you can receive the best help possible because everyone is working together as one to support you. At the end of the day, you are the most important person in your mental health care team and having everyone’s role and responsibilities in writing can ensure this happens.
Preparing your NDIS Mental Health Care Plan
Your primary doctor will work closely with you on your mental health care plan to work out:
- What your needs are
- What help you require – medically, physically, socially, emotionally and mentally
- The results you would like
- What treatment is best for your goals
Once you and your primary doctor agree on your goals and support needs, they will write out your mental health plan. Your doctor will then discuss the plan with the rest of your team. This may take several sessions. You will be offered a copy of the plan which you should keep with a copy of your medical record. With your permission – and only with your permission – your plan can be given to other members of the team, including carers. You can absolutely tell your doctor if there is any information you do not wish to be shared with other members of the team. This plan is about you.
What are the Benefits?
A care plan is a powerful tool for you to manage your mental health care. These benefits include:
- Helping you set and achieve goals
- Make sure every member of your team is working toward the same goals
- Ensure you are provided with long-term care that is easy for you and all of your team to understand
- Gives you the power to monitor your progress
- Ensure you continue to receive all the care you need
- Find the best treatment options for you
- Provide a focus to improve and maintain your health rather than dealing with problems as they arise
- Provide life saving information in case of emergencies
It Is Important to have Regular Reviews
The aim of the NDIS mental health care plan is to make sure you are always receiving the right treatment you need. Significant changes in your health may result in changes to your plan. This ensures your team is always up to date and helping you manage problems and celebrate success. How often you will need to review depends on your needs. You may only need a review every six months, or you may need a review three months, or sooner. It gives everyone the opportunity to be proactive about your health and treatment.
If you are concerned about the changes brought by the NDIS, are unsure about what they mean for you, or you would like to discuss your mental health options with a qualified, caring professional, contact us today. The counsellors at Creative Healing are here to help you thrive and navigate this important change to mental health treatment in Australia.