The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) introduced Recovery Coaching as a unique support, recognising that not only is it very necessary, but that it is also different to other similar supports like Support Coordination.
Recovery Coaching and Support Coordination share an NDIS registration group, and both are focussed on capacity building, supporting participants in goal setting, and accessing and coordinating services.
Recovery Coaching and Support Coordination do however have important differences. We asked the team at One Good* Day for clarification.
What is the difference between Support Coordination Recovery Coaching?
Support Coordination can be described as an intermediary service – a connection between the NDIS, the participant and the vast network of supports and services they might need.
As an intermediary, their role is to clarify, navigate and build the capacity of participants. When they have successfully built capacity so that participants gain more independence, they are no longer needed
Recovery Coaching is an intermediary role plus additional support.
The role a Recovery Coach plays in a person’s life might not be forever, but will typically be much longer than that of a Support Coordinator for most people.
So how does Recovery Coaching work?
The Recovery Model is at the heart of this support. Recovery is about achieving an optimal state of personal, social and emotional wellbeing, as defined by each individual, whilst living with or recovering from a mental health condition.
Recovery coaches are not designed to set people up and then move on. They are designed to stick around, support people through the ebbs and flows. Build on strengths, empower people and make sure people know they can build the life they want and are proud of, while successfully managing any ongoing impacts of their illness or disability.
The Recovery Model that is delivered by Recovery Coaching is not new, and the heart of the Recovery Model has always been the relationship between a person and their supports. A solid rapport is important for the success of other supports, but it is essential for Recovery Coaching. Trust needs to be built over time, through being non-judgemental, consistent and reliable. By being a constant and gentle positive presence.
The Recovery Model is also about an individual approach. No two journeys are the same and when you are supporting someone – you are considering the whole person. Their social needs, their basic access to food and safe, secure housing, their need to contribute, their health and treatment needs, and their general wellbeing. A good Recovery Plan considers and brings together everything.
It takes time and sustained energy to make positive progress across all of these areas, and constant support and reinforcement from a service you trust can really enable people to stick with it - to persevere when things get hard and to try again if it all falls apart for a while.
What kind of experience will a Recovery Coach need?
Lived Experience is a key element to the role of a Recovery Coach.
A Recovery Coach with lived experience is on their own recovery journey and has reached a point where they are managing their mental illness or psychosocial disability well.
It can be really motivating to work with someone who has been through something similar to what you are experiencing.
They can draw on their personal experiences and talk to you about what has worked for them.
The concept of lived experience also puts the person accessing services and their experience at the centre of it all.
Drawing on lived experience is also about accessing these experiences to build good organisations.
Making sure the way we do things, the practices, tools and policies draw on lived experience makes sure things are set up in a way that works and is respectful.
Learned experience is also important, referring to the experience gained through expertise in the field.
The experience gained through studying and working with lots of other people is valuable too and you need to draw on both to provide effective services.
Recovery Coaching and the NDIS
Recovery Coaching is such an exciting addition to the NDIS and has the potential to positively impact many lives.
The team at One Good* Day bring feel both excited and privileged to delivery recovery coaching around the country, with their coaches drawing on both lived and learned experience.
Let's hear from a senior recovery coach at One Good* Day:
I have met some fantastic customers who come from diverse backgrounds. Some hold professional roles, have had bright careers, and others have university degrees majoring in some intense subjects. Some have struggled with a psychosocial disability for most of their life but bring a lot of lived experience and knowledge with them.
Every person I meet has a story as unique as they are, and I enjoy giving my full focus to each person I meet.
So far, customers are quite unsure as to what the role of Recovery Coach entails, and once they understand it is great to see the support they have for that position.
Customers are looking for a Recovery Coach who understands, listens and can work WITH them to achieve their one good* day as a first step in the process, as opposed to taking control away from them and not seeing them as actively involved in their own journey.
Trust is a huge consideration for customers as majority have had some type of trauma, often due to previous experiences with services.
Customers are grateful that this role includes assistance with understanding their NDIS plan, budgets and arranging other supports such as getting back into their community with a support worker, or allied health appointments.
I love taking time to connect, build a good relationship and clarify needs and goals in a detailed recovery and wellness action plan.
More about One Good* Day
Our approach is zero judgement, trust is everything, and being NDIS experts we are able navigate through any NDIS questions our customers have.
For many, it’s their first NDIS plan, and we find great joy in walking alongside them as they understand more and more about the NDIS. The zero judgement and knowing trust is everything parts come naturally to me and I think the people I support know that straight away.