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Canterbury DHB staff member appointed to Inquiry team

Canterbury DHB staff member appointed to government’s national Mental Health Inquiry team

Canterbury DHB is congratulating one of its Specialist Mental Health Service (SMHS) staff on his appointment to the Mental Health Inquiry Review team.

Dean Rangihuna, a Māori Consumer Advisor (Te Kaihapai) of Ngati Porou and Ngāti Hei descent, is a passionate advocate for consumer involvement in improving mental health services and has held key Māori mental health positions both nationally and within Canterbury DHB.

As a former consumer of mental health services, his experiences have inspired his dedication to promoting quality services and better health outcomes for Māori mental health and addiction, and ensuring a voice for Māori health inequities.

Mr Rangihuna says, “I have gained a real insight into working alongside whanau/families and to better understand their perspectives”

“My mantra is ‘People may not remember exactly what you did or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel’ and this reflects how I see myself.”

Past areas of focus include reducing seclusion in mental health at a national level and Te Rau Matatini workforce programmes.

He has been in his Canterbury DHB role since 2005 and has been identified as a leader in identifying solutions required to make a change to systems and service delivery.

Mr Rangihuna worked for a Māori mental health community service for three years, prior to being employed as a Maori Consumer Advisor and has built great community relationships .

He says Te Korowai Atawhai has been his turangawaewae/standing place and strongly contributed to where he is now.

Te Korowai Atawhai is a cultural service within Canterbury DHB with approximately 17 Pukenga Atawhai (Maori mental health workers), who are an integral part of clinical teams throughout the Specialist Mental Health Services. They work adjacent to other specialist services, inclusive of inpatient services, in providing a cultural response to the needs of tangata whaiora, whānau and clinicians.

Mr Rangihuna has also advised various SMHS committees as Te Kaihapai/The Māori consumer for 14 years.

General Manager Mental Health Services at Canterbury DHB Toni Gutschlag says: “We are thrilled that Dean has been selected to provide a consumer perspective on the Inquiry panel. He’s grown in confidence through his various roles as a consumer advocate and become even more passionate about being a strong voice for those with a lived experience of mental illness. Dean has the full backing of his colleagues and we are justifiably proud of his selection for this important piece of work that will shape the journey to mental wellness for future consumers/tangata whaiora.”


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