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Refugee Health Service Receives Award in Australia

New Zealand Refugee Health Service Receives Award in Australia

A New Zealand refugee mental health service in Auckland has won a Trans-Tasman award at the TheMHS 2010 Conference in Sydney for achievement, innovation and excellence. The nominations came from mental health services throughout both Australia and New Zealand

The RASNZ Refugee Mobile Team won the Achievement Award in recognition of the Refugee
Community Link Worker Project and Service Outcomes.

The Award was announced today at the Annual International Conference held this year in Sydney, Australia. It was presented to Surpreet Cheema, Clinical Manager of the RASNZ Mobile Team.

RASNZ is Zealand’s specialist health agency for all incoming United Nations quota and convention refugees, and provider of a range of vital mental health, treatment, rehabilitation, youth, research and community development services

The Auckland Regional Refugee Mobile Team

What: A multidisciplinary, specialist mobile mental health team working with traumatised refugees, taking service directly into their own communities.

Why: To provide culturally responsive mental health care within the community and reduce transport, language and other barriers to allow access and increase positive outcomes.

How: A specialist mobile team of psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, body therapists and refugee community link workers provide mental health treatment, early clinical intervention, preventive care and practical grassroots support to refugees at multiple community venues or in their own homes. Hybrid eco-vehicles are used to move services into the communities and homes where refugees live. Also training and capacity-building for mainstream health and social services.

Target: Traumatised refugees and survivors of torture in need of rehabilitation and recovery who are beginning new lives in a new country

Where: Greater metropolitan Auckland region.

Started: Officially opened by the Prime Minister in November, 2007

Funded through: Counties Manukau District Health Board (on behalf of the Auckland Metro DHB’s), (planned through the NDSA), the ASB Community Trust, and the United Nations

Outcomes: A two-year independent evaluation was carried out to examine outcomes and results which was internationally published. A copy of the independent evaluation is enclosed.

The MHS Conference is an international health, psychiatric and educational forum attacting over 1000 clinicians, researchers, cultural and indigenous workers, educators, consumers and families, and policy makers. TheMHS organises the largest mental health and addiction services conference in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific. TheMHS aims to promote positive attitudes about mental health and wellness, and to stimulate debate that challenges the boundaries of knowledge and ideas about mental health care.


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