Empowering Abilities, Enriching Lives — Your AT: Turning Technology into Opportunities for All

Exploring Psychosocial Disability: Beyond Just a Mental Health Condition
March 18, 2024 | YourAT

Exploring Psychosocial Disability: Beyond Just a Mental Health Condition

Psychosocial disability arises from the intersection of mental health issues with social environments, impacting a person’s ability to function in everyday life. It encompasses more than the symptoms of a mental health condition; it’s about how these symptoms interact with the individual’s world.

Understanding the Challenges of Psychosocial Disability

People with psychosocial disabilities often encounter significant obstacles, including:

  • Concentration: Challenges in maintaining focus.
  • Task Management: Difficulties with managing time and handling multiple tasks.
  • Social Interaction: Struggles in communicating and interacting with others.
  • Stress Management: Inadequate coping mechanisms for stress.
  • Stamina: Limited energy to complete daily activities.
  • Self-Care: Problems with personal care routines.

These issues are not isolated to the individuals’ mental health condition but are exacerbated by their social circumstances.

The Wider Impact on Individuals

Psychosocial disabilities can severely limit a person’s ability to participate in community life, contribute economically, and manage daily activities. These disabilities are variable and can change over time, affecting individuals differently.

This form of disability is frequently invisible and misunderstood, often associated with stigmatised experiences such as substance use or suicide attempts, leading to a dual stigma—the disability itself and the mental health condition underlying it.

Insights from Data and Support Challenges

According to 2018 survey data, approximately 1.1 million Australians live with a psychosocial disability. The data also highlights that those living in non-institutionalised settings were four times more likely to face discrimination compared to those with other types of disabilities (24% vs. 6%)【1】. Unfortunately, the transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has left gaps in the support network, with many services previously funded by states and territories being reduced or discontinued.

Within the NDIS, individuals with a primary diagnosis of psychosocial disability form one of the largest groups. Yet, they are employed at half the rate of other participants (11% vs. 23% for those aged 15-64) and experience lower levels of social and community engagement【2】.

Future Directions for Support

Recent shifts in policy suggest a move towards a more personalised approach to support for people with psychosocial disabilities, focusing on functional needs rather than diagnostic categories. However, these changes have raised concerns about the criteria for support eligibility and the continuity of assistance provided.

The Crucial Role of Inclusive Decision-Making

Effective support for psychosocial disabilities requires the active participation of those affected in the policymaking process. This ensures that the services developed meet their actual needs and that past oversights in service provision are not repeated.

Addressing psychosocial disability effectively demands a nuanced understanding of the interplay between mental health issues and social environments. With comprehensive engagement from policymakers, service providers, and the community, it is possible to enhance the support framework for those affected, ensuring they can lead fuller and more inclusive lives.

【1】Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, “Disability in Australia: Changes over time in inclusion and participation in employment.” 【2】National Disability Insurance Scheme Quarterly Reports.

  • Share:
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Related Posts
  • 100% Secure

    Payment Online
  • Sales Prices

    All Sales Pricing from distributor passed on in full
Skip to content