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Richmond Institute for Innovation and Learning

Richmond Institute for Innovation and Learning

The Richmond Fellowship New Zealand has established New Zealand's first third-sector research unit with a focus on the effective delivery of mental health services.

To be called the Richmond Institute for Innovation and Learning, the research unit will be headed by Dr Michael Reid as Director. It will work closely with academic institutions in New Zealand, Australia and the United States and with public and third sector providers.

The key research focus will be in the area of service evaluation and development. In particular, the Institute will undertake research into how services for people with disabilities living in the communitymental illness can be delivered more effectively and to examine the significance of new methodologies within the New Zealand environment. Specifically, the institute will focus on support services for people with psychiatric, intellectual and behavioural challenges. Established with the support of the Richmond Foundation, the Institute will utilise a number of dedicated research grants and seek funding from other agencies in the sector and established sources.

The Richmond Institute will also work to developprovide specialist teaching materials for mentalcommunity support healthprofessionals working in the sphere of complex management/support needs. It will arrange and provide conferences, workshops and seminars on a range of specialist topics.

Richmond Fellowship New Zealand, established in 1979, is committed to the development of the Institute as a centre of excellence and best practice. The Institute’s aims are consistent with its desire for mental health and disability resources to be applied as effectively as possible. The Institute and its parent organisation are grounded upon the belief that, with few exceptions, everyone has the ability to live in the community and to participate in the management of their illness or disability.

Dr Reid says the Institute is charged with advancing the Richmond Fellowship’s goals relating to the development of effective solutions and durable outcomes for people receiving community-based support.

“Richmond Fellowship has a tradition of critical appraisal of its service outcomes and a rigorous approach to learning and professional development. The Institute provides the vehicle for undertaking more detailed research and evaluation of both our service delivery and our approach to learning.

“Our key focus is on primary research to measure service outcomes and to evaluate alternatives, with special attention to the potential application of international modalities within a New Zealand context.

“There has been a paucity of research in this area, and we look forward to examining the local and international evidence. By taking an international and multidisciplinary approach, we believe we can add value to the existing services and challenge the sector to evaluate new service models.

“A key aim of the Institute is to bring the medical and social sciences together to work collaboratively, and to encourage discussion between public and third sector providers. The underlying philosophy is to allow individuals to make a difference to their own lives.

“We also want to make sure the public sector is properly represented, and to foster links between the public and NGO sectors.”

“We will be looking to establish Researchpartnerships are being established with the Otago University School of Psychology and School of Medicinewith tertiary institutions and. The Institute will also extend our the Richmond Fellowship’slinks with Massey University’s Department of Psychology.”

About Richmond Fellowship

Richmond Fellowship is a major provider of community health and support services throughout New Zealand. The Fellowship has developed specialist services for a range of purchasers including the Ministry of Health, Crown Public Health, Child Youth and Family Service and District Health Boards. Services include support programmes for people with mental, psychiatric or psychological illness, respite and emergency support, consumer based drop-in services, specialist youth services and dual diagnosis services (including intellectual disability/mental illness).

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