Partners in Recovery (PIR) is a program that helps people with severe and persistent mental illness with complex needs by coordinating the services they need for their recovery.
A majority of people being assisted by PIR will also qualify for access to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) as it rolls out across the NT, and the program is focused on transitioning all eligible participants by mid-2019.
PIR supports people, their families and carers in their recovery by facilitating tailored ‘wrap around’ care and assisting mulitple services to work together to increase coordination and integration. PIR brings together a range of agencies across the mental health, general health, housing, employment, training, and drug and alcohol sectors and acts as the mechanism that brings together all the services and supports within the region that a person may need to recover.
Each participant in the program has a facilitator who helps to link them with the services they need. The facilitator role provides a single point of contact for the participant on their recovery journey.
PIR and the NDIS
PIR is also one of several Commonwealth funded mental health initiatives that is transitioning to the NDIS in the NT, in line with the NDIS roll out schedule. This means that all current and new PIR participants will be encouraged and supported to gain access to the NDIS. Intake to PIR is currently still available and support will be maintained for PIR participants, if needed, that are not eligible for NDIS access until June 2019. This ensures there is no reduction in services to people with mental ill health during the transition period.
PIR in the Northern Territory
NT PHN is the lead agency for NT PIR and has engaged experienced non-government organisations (PIR Providers) in regions across the Northern Territory. PIR Providers are responsible for working with individual participants to assist their recovery. PIR Providers also drive coordination and collaboration across all supports and services in their region to improve regional systems. NT PHN’s role is to manage and support PIR Providers to deliver the program, conduct high level strategic engagement and manage the program’s relationship with the Department of Health.
The Providers for NT PIR and their contact numbers are:
Barkly – CatholicCare NT, (08) 8962 3065
Central Australia – MHACA, (08) 8950 4600
Darwin urban and rural, Tiwi Islands – Mission Australia, (08) 8935 0900
East Arnhem – Miwatj Health, (08) 8939 1900
Katherine and Katherine West – Mission Australia, (08) 8965 1000
A PIR Reference Group (PIRRG) consisting of individuals with a variety of experience across different sectors provides strategic advice to NT PHN through its members’ collective knowledge and practical experience. The reference group includes consumer and carer members with a lived experience of mental health issues.
Who can access PIR?
- have a diagnosed mental illness*
- have long-term, severe problems with mental illness
- have complex needs that can’t be addressed by just one support service
- can’t get the help they need from other places
- want to work with someone to make things better.
*if a person does not have a diagnosed mental illness at the time of referral a diagnosis will be required during the assessment stage. PIR is a free service for participants.
Who can access NDIS?
People who are:
- are residents of Australia
- are under 65 years of age
- have a mental illness that is or is likely to be permanenet
- have a mentiall illness or disability that causes dysfunction in day-to-day life.
Evidence of the above must be submitted to the NDIA with an access request form. Those that are eligible for both programs can access PIR which would subsequently become a pathway to access the NDIS.
What are PIR support and what do they do?
PIR providers will have a team of experienced facilitators whose role will be to facilitate access and coordinate services for PIR participants. They will work with participants, their carers and families or significant others to assess a person’s individual care needs, develop an action plan and build a network of services and supports to assist their recovery.
PIR facilitators are also taking a lead role in facilitating access requests to the NDIS for participants, support with the development of suitable NDIS plans, and entering into an NDIS support coordination role if the participant so chooses.
Making a referral to PIR
Referrals can be made by any individual, such as a mental health clinician, GP, family member or carer, support worker or other service provider. People can also self-refer.
For more information on the Partners in Recovery program and to download referral forms, visit:
Northern Territory PHN gratefully acknowledges the financial and other support from the Australian Government Department of Health.
PIR will be transitioning to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) over the next two and a half years, and will not longer exist after July 2019.
PIR clients in the NT will be transitioning to the NDIS over the next two and a half years. PIR is still taking referrals into the program during the transition and can help new and existing client during this period.