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Multi-Disciplinary Mental Health Hubs

“Community hubs ma ybe the answer to the difficulties people encounter when seeking assistance for mental health issues. The extra mental health funding announced in the budget could be allocated to multi disciplinary teams which would provide a wrap around service aligned with the needs of people in local communities.

The New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists is inviting counsellors, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, alcohol and drug practitioners and allied health professionals to consider working together at a central venue in community centres. At present, clients and patients are referred to one or more professional services. The current system is fraught with delays and a lack of shared information.

Roy Bowden, a former president of the New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists. is encouraging practitioners to combine their specialist knowledge. He would like practitioners from a variety of services to be on a roster system to meet with people in crisis, engage with the support offered by families and friends and take the needs of culturally aligned services into account. Community Hubs would be the ‘first port of call’ for people and multi-disciplinary team members would refer clients and patients on to specialist help if that is required.

If each profession asks the government for funding in isolation there is a danger the health system will continue to be under funded and under resourced.

There are many reasons why people need a ‘whole of life’ approach to mental health dilemmas. It is now recognised that mental health is inextricably linked to environmental, cultural, social, relationship, spiritual, physical health and personal issues. These are all present when someone is disturbed and cannot cope with life. Community Hubs would take all these factors into account and multi-disciplinary, culturally aligned teams, would make sure people are surrounded with holistic care.”

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