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Southern Mental Health & Addiction Strategic Plan

Southern Mental Health & Addiction Strategic Plan emphasises “collective, whole of system” approach

Working in an integrated way, and looking at the big picture, are key to the future of mental health and addiction services in the South, according to the strategic plan that will guide the Southern health system’s mental health and addiction sector.

The newly launched Raise Hope Hāpai te Tūmanako 2019-2023, builds on the work of Raise Hope Hāpai te Tūmanako 2012-2015 with continued emphasis on improving mental health and addiction system-wide participation and equitable health outcomes.

The development of the new strategy was led by the Southern health system-wide Mental Health Network Leadership Group, representing primary care providers, community-based NGOs, mental health service consumers and DHB-based specialist services.

The refreshed strategy sets the expectation for an Integrated Model of Care that includes early intervention, tailored and interprofessional service provision and tāngata whaiora and whānau centred care.

Programmes will be increasingly designed with community input to ensure that there is ‘nothing about us without us’, and focusing on the following key outcomes:

• Tangata whaiora with mental distress, addiction issues, and resulting challenges, will experience better physical health

• Tangata whaiora with mental distress, addiction issues, and resulting challenges, will experience a recovery-focused approach

• Whānau are better enabled to support and care for each other.

The strategy includes an action plan and workforce delivery plan that outlines measurable goals and timelines. The plans also demonstrate alliances with other initiatives such as the Southern Primary and Community Care Strategy.

Southern DHB Mental Health, Addictions and Intellectual Disability Medical Director and Psychiatrist Dr Evan Mason says, “The strategy will help direct efforts to where they are needed most. By looking at the big picture we can identify the greatest needs and challenges, and respond collectively.”

Clive McArthur, Psychologist and one of the NGO representatives on the Network Leadership Group says “The strategy unites mental health and addiction teams from across the Southern mental health system, partner organisations and NGO’s. Incorporation of their feedback and the outcomes of the He Ara Oranga Mental Health Inquiry will mean that this is a ‘living’ and responsive strategy. It will be sensitive to the changing environment.”

This emphasis on working together has already been recognised through repositioning of the Southern DHB’s Mental Health, Addictions and Intellectual Disability (MHAID) directorate into the Strategy, Primary and Community directorate, rather than within Specialist Services.

While MHAID has been responsible for directly engaging with primary and community providers since the DHB’s restructure in 2017, it formally sat within the Specialist Services directorate. The shift to the Strategy, Primary and Community directorate supports greater strategic alignment with the Primary and Community Care Strategy and Action plan, and for support and care to be provided as close to home as possible.

A copy of Raise Hope Hāpai te Tūmanako 2019-2023 can be viewed online here:


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