Depression and disability

silhouette of head bent with series of scrunched up paper coming out of it in the shape of a funnel According to the Australian Human Rights Commission, depression is a common mental illness which can be covered by the definition of disability in the Disability Discrimination Act.

People with disabilities are generally at greater risk of mental illness, including depression and anxiety disorders, suicidal ideation, and substance disorders, than the rest of the population. There are many factors and correlations for this, including social stigma, violence and abuse, isolation, trauma and ineffective or non-existent pain management or appropriate services and supports.

People with disability have the right to live full and independent lives. The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has changed the way disability services, supports and equipment are delivered to people with disability across Australia and aims to enable people to have choice and control over their services and supports to achieve their goals.

For a significant minority of people, depression and anxiety conditions may lead to prolonged or enduring psychosocial disability, which can impact on their ability to lead a fulfilling and contributing life. The NDIS has committed to provisions for people with psychosocial disability, but it is worth noting that accessing the scheme is far from straightforward and can, in and of itself, have a negative impact on participant’s mental health.

Psychosocial disability is a term used to describe a disability that may arise from a mental health issue. Not everyone who has a mental health condition will have a psychosocial disability, but for people who do, it can be severe, longstanding and impact on their recovery. People with a disability as a result of their mental health condition may qualify for the NDIS.

It is important to be aware of your mental health and to seek help from services, as well as family and friends, if you are feeling unsafe or sad.

Mainstream supports such as Lifeline and Beyondblue are vital services that anybody can use. If you feel unsafe, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. If life is in danger, call 000.



13 11 14 



1300 224 636 

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