This article explains the newly added NDIS funded role of a recovery coach, what they do and how to go about finding one.
What is a recovery coach?
A Psychosocial Recovery Coach (recovery coach) is a new NDIS support item for participants with a psychosocial disability who require support managing complex challenges of daily living.
The aim is to increase participants’ social and economic independence and participation through the provision of capacity building supports.
Recovery coaches will focus on coaching participants to have greater participation in managing their lives, and will collaborate with other services to support and underpin these outcomes.
Recovery coaches will work collaboratively with participants, their families, carers and other services to design, plan and implement a recovery plan, and assist with the coordination of NDIS and other supports.
Participants will have the option of selecting a recovery coach with lived experience or a recovery coach with learnt knowledge of psychosocial disability and mental health.
What is a psychosocial disability?
The NDIS Commission defines psychosocial disability as:
‘A mental health issue that affects people’s daily activities such as socialising or interacting with others in a social setting, learning or self-care, or their capacity to fully participate in society’.
Some of the specific disorders include:
- obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- bi-polar disorder
- severe and persistent anxiety and depression.
People experiencing these issues may have substantially reduced functional capacity (ability to undertake) any of the following:
- social interaction
- social and economic participation.
What is meant by ‘recovery’ under the NDIS?
The NDIA defines recovery as ‘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.’ For a more detailed view see 'Psychosocial Disability Recovery and the NDIS'.
Mental health experts agree that those experiencing psychosocial disabilities are likely to greatly benefit from having choices and feeling more in control of their daily living and self-management.
Social and economic participation are also empowering and can help overcome feelings of isolation and worthlessness.
Recovery coaches can facilitate these positive outcomes for increased wellbeing and quality of life.
Who can be a recovery coach under the NDIS?
A recovery coach may be:
- someone with a lived experience (called a lived experience recovery coach), or
- someone with learned experience and knowledge of psychosocial disability and mental health,
Recovery coaches must have:
- tertiary qualifications in peer work or mental health (minimum of Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work or Certificate IV in Mental Health) OR equivalent training
AND / OR
- a minimum two years of experience in mental health-related work
Since funding for a recovery coach falls under the Support Coordination category in the NDIS Support Catalogue, a Support Coordinator or a Support Coordination company with the relevant experience could perform this role.
NDIS Providers need to be registered for Registration Group 06: 'Assistance In Coordinating Or Managing Life Stages, Transitions And Supports' in order to deliver these supports.
What does a recovery coach do?
Specifically, the NDIS requires recovery coaches to:
- develop recovery-enabling relationships for participants, based on hope
- support participants with their recovery planning
- coach participants to increase their recovery skills and personal capacity (eg, motivation, individual strengths and decision making)
- ensure that other supports are recovery oriented
- support engagement with the NDIS
- assist with plan implementation
Recovery coaches will work with a participants’ family, carers and relevant service providers to implement a recovery plan.
How does a Recovery Coach differ from Support Coordination?
Although the support provided by a support coordinator and a recovery coach may appear to be similar, many more hours are expected to be allocated to a recovery coach over an extended period. For example, 1 hour per week for the year (50 hours).
What is a Recovery Plan?
According to the NDIA, a recovery plan will
- build on, and if needed, clarify and break down goals into short-term objectives
- identify strengths and barriers
- enable the person to identify areas of life where they have choice and areas of life where they have no choice (i.e.decisions are made by other people)
- identify key contacts who are in the person’s life and are able to support them
- map the identified goals with available and potential resources and services
- identify early signs that may require changes in supports and identify how supports can be adjusted to meet fluctuating needs.
This may include an increased level of support from clinical services and increased use of NDIS supports
- support the person to plan and manage available resources and services in the broader service system (including, for example, their NDIS funded supports and clinical mental health services) to optimise the use of these resources
- clarify how NDIS supports complement and interact with other supports, such as clinical services
- help the person navigate the broader NDIS service system
- clarify roles and responsibilities of the person, recovery coach, clinical supports and other supports.
What funding category covers a recovery coach in my NDIS plan?
Funding for a recovery coach falls under the Support Coordination category in the NDIS Price Guide and Support Catalogue.
NDIS Providers need to be registered for Registration Group 06: 'Assistance In Coordinating Or Managing Life Stages, Transitions And Supports'.
A provider of this support would need to undergo a Certification Audit (Medium Risk: Core Module Only).
Different price limits apply depending on the Time of Day and Day of Week on which the support is delivered.
How do I find an NDIS recovery coach?
Many of the Support Coordinators listed on the MyCareSpace platform offer recovery coaching.
Use our VIP Support Request form to have one of our connections team locate a recovery coach in your area.