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Jan Dowland appointed Platform chair




Jan Dowland appointed Platform chair

Leading mental health advocate Jan Dowland has been appointed as chair of Platform, the national collaboration of community organisations that provide mental health and addiction services.

The Wellington based organisation recently became a charitable trust and Jan, former Chair of the Mental Health Commission, said she was relishing the challenge of helping to guide Platform as it established new ways of working.

“I am really pleased to have the opportunity to be involved in Platform’s new structure,” she said.

“Platform is tackling different ways of working and, for me, it is very important that we do work that is valued by the sector and makes a difference to the world of providers and ultimately to the lives of people with disabilities.

“We need to look at where mental health fits into the bigger picture and it will be important to think not just about our needs but how our work can contribute to what other organisations can do.

“We need to focus on where Platform can collaborate and engage in networking with other key players and partners in a broader range of organisations.”

Jan, who is currently a consultant undertaking project work for IHC New Zealand and other disability providers, has over 30 years of research and management experience in the mental health and disability sector.

She was CEO of IHC New Zealand from 1998 – 2002 and National Manager for IHC specialist services from 2004-2006. She chaired the Mental Health Commission from 2002-2004.

From 2005-2007, she was also a panel member of the confidential forum for former inpatients of psychiatric hospitals.

Her extensive research experience in New Zealand and the UK includes Department of Health projects to assist in the planning of health services and the development of health policy.

Former Platform Chair Julie Nelson has stood down after eight years to concentrate on other commitments but remains on the board of trustees.

Platform CEO Marion Blake said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with someone of Jan Dowland’s skills and indepth knowledge at this very exciting time in Platform’s development.

“We would also like to thank Julie Nelson for the incredible support, guidance and commitment she has given to Platform over many years.”

Platform provides a contact point for nationwide feedback on issues that relate to mental health and addiction NGOs.

It aims to give voice to matters that impact on community organisations’ ability to provide services and to promote the role of New Zealand’s health and disability community sector nationally and internationally.


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