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Mental Health & Addiction Advisory committee

Representatives sought for new Mental Health & Addiction Advisory committee

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board is seeking up to five community representatives for its new Mental Health and Addiction Advisory Committee being set up to advise the Board.

HBDHB chief executive, Chris Clarke sees the committee as one of the exciting aspects of developing mental health and addiction services in the district.

Diana Kirton was nominated at last month’s Board meeting to chair the new committee. "The committee will play a crucial role in helping the Board make sound decisions," Mrs Kirton said. "We are looking for up to five community representatives to provide expert community advice to guide the future direction of mental health and addiction services in Hawke’s Bay.”

Mr Clarke stressed this is a “high level” committee, responsible for making recommendations to the Board on important decisions.

“This is the first formal step to implement proposals in the report The Path Forward which was approved by the Board in May,” he said. “To develop services responsive to the needs of Hawke’s Bay people will require guidance from a strong committee.

Diana Kirton said there are going to be some difficult choices to make. “There will never be enough funding to do all the things we would like to do in mental health and addiction care.

“Choices will have to be made between different community and health needs. These choices must be based on a sound analysis; a clear understanding of the consequences of decisions; the effectiveness of services, and a good understanding of the communities' needs and aspirations.”

Advertisements for positions on the Mental Health and Addiction Advisory Committee are appearing in papers now. Information packs will be sent out to interested people, and will set out the knowledge and skills required. "We'll be looking for a balance of skills and interests to make the committee as effective as possible”.

"I encourage people to get involved - contact Angela Taylor for an information pack," Mrs Kirton said.

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