We explore how Psychosocial Recovery Coaches and Support Coordinators are different in their expertise and their approaches.
The introduction of Psychosocial Recovery Coaching to the NDIS was a welcome addition for many Australians, but some participants have noticed that this service appears to overlap with Support Coordination. It is true that they belong to the same ‘Capacity Building’ registration group and budget category, and that some of the tasks performed by our Psychosocial Recovery Coaches and our Support Coordinators are similar. But that is where the similarities end.
At Complete Care Coordination, we provide both Psychosocial Recovery Coaching and Support Coordination, so we’ve set out to explain the differences between the two. You’ll see that both services have an important role to play in the NDIS, but it is worth mentioning that the NDIA will generally not fund both types of support in your plan.
A mental health focus
One of the most important differences between Psychosocial Recovery Coaches and Support Coordinators is their area of expertise.
A Psychosocial Recovery Coach has expert knowledge of mental health and/or lived experience with a psychological condition, making them a specialist of sorts in the field. This provides them with a unique perspective and insight into recovery from a psychosocial disability, as well as the navigation of mental health supports.
Support Coordinators, on the other hand, can work with any NDIS participants, regardless of their circumstance. While many Support Coordinators have expert knowledge in a specific area of the disability system and/or lived experience with a disability, this isn’t always in the area of mental health.
So, Psychosocial Recovery Coaching fills an important gap that used to exist in the NDIS, allowing people living with a psychosocial disability to access highly specialised support.
It’s all about recovery
Another key difference is the orientation of the service.
Generally, Support Coordination involves helping you to figure out which services you need, connecting you with these services, monitoring the quality and effectiveness of these services, tracking your funding, and helping you prepare for plan reviews.
A Psychosocial Recovery Coach will do all of this, but with the addition of psychological recovery-focussed services. This means they will also work with you, your family, and your support network to set recovery goals, and develop strategies that keep you moving towards these even in the face of complex mental health challenges. In most cases, Psychosocial Recovery Coaching tends to receive a higher hour allocation from the NDIA than Support Coordination because of these extra services.
The complex nature of mental health
Following on from the previous point, we also want to highlight that Psychosocial Recovery Coaches can play a role in supporting you through rough patches in your recovery. Their lived and/or learned experience means that they understand the episodic nature of mental health conditions, and they can work with you and your support network to plan appropriate and respectful supports in case of a crisis. This service is not included in Support Coordination and is part of the reason why Psychosocial Recovery Coaching tends to receive more hours from the NDIA than Support Coordination.
The nature of Psychosocial Recovery Coaching means that you are supported to set and work towards goals that are more personal, short-term, and specific than your NDIS plan goals. Support Coordinators work with you to achieve your NDIS plan goals and use their expertise to link you with the best service providers to help you get there. The key difference goal-wise is that Psychosocial Recovery Coaching is about recovery, which often requires smaller, specific steps in between larger goals to be effective and guide progress.
So, there you have it. There are some very important differences between Psychosocial Recovery Coaches and Support Coordinators.
Support Coordinators are still an essential and hugely beneficial service for many NDIS participants – as we’ve seen above, a Support Coordinator can provide guidance and advice that will help you maximise your funding, setting you up for success with your plan and its goals.
But now, with Psychosocial Recovery Coaching, people living with a psychosocial disability can access a support coordination service tailored to the unique challenges of mental health recovery.
At Complete Care Coordination, we can vouch for the benefits of both. We are pleased that the NDIS recognises the unique goals and requirements of people living with psychosocial disabilities and have introduced a way for these people to access recovery-focused support.