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Auckland psychiatrist Dr David Codyre awarded Order of Merit

It is with absolute delight that Total Healthcare PHO announces that Dr David Codyre has today been awarded a New Year’s honour – he is now a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to mental health.

Dr Codyre, a nationally respected Auckland psychiatrist, is funded by the PHO as clinical lead for its healthcare provider Tāmaki Health’s Wellness Support Team. He has led development of the range of innovative mental health and long-term condition programmes his team offer and was instrumental in developing the group’s revolutionary health coaching model involving peer support and self-management education.

Dr Codyre has spent the last 17 years leading the development of primary mental health programmes and advocating at a regional and national level for the strengthening of primary mental health capacity along with better support for primary care from secondary (DHB) mental health services. He played a pivotal role in bringing mental health care into general practice.

Total Healthcare PHO CEO Mark Vella says: “David has worked tirelessly with key sector groups to improve the health and wellbeing of people in the community who experience mental distress.

“At Tāmaki Health – the management support organisation for Local Doctors and White Cross networks – he has led the development of an innovative, integrated primary mental health programme.”

He also co-hosted the hugely popular The Nutters Club radio and television show alongside Mike King from 2009 to 2015. He has worked with organisations addressing family harm such as Safe Man Safe Family and Gandhi Nivas.

“David is an awesome collaborator and has been at the heart of the Te Tumu Waiora collaborative, working with other PHOs, DHBS and NGOs to develop this revolutionary model integrating mental health clinicians, health coaches, and NGO support, into primary care teams.”

A typical Kiwi bloke, Dr Codyre says he was surprised and humbled by the award.

“It was unexpected, and my first response was there are so many people more deserving than me. It’s a significant struggle to effect change in the mental health sector and there are so many people deserving of an honour like this,” Dr Codyre says.

“The ground-breaking work of the team I lead has only been possible because Total Healthcare PHO was prepared to fund it and our healthcare provider Tāmaki Health was prepared to support it and back us to test and implement innovative new programmes to better meet the needs of the people we serve, all of which are fully funded for patients.”

Dr Codyre also wants to pay tribute to the Wellness Support Team he leads including psychologists, therapists, peer health coaches, and coordinators. “It’s a privilege to work with such an amazing dedicated bunch of people, and all that we have achieved is through great teamwork.”

The nationally unique aspects of the wellness team include its development of health coaching and group self-management support, a thriving mindfulness programme, and that the PHO funds Dr Codyre’s work as a psychiatrist in primary care.

“This support allows us to help meet the needs of people struggling with mental health and long-term conditions,” Dr Codyre says.

In past two years the search for new ways to meet people’s health and wellness needs has led to the development of the collaborative of DHBs, PHOs and NGOs to provide new mental health, wellness support, and social support service fully integrated in GP clinics – so patients are mostly seen on the day they go to their GP via a no-referral ‘warm handoff’ process.

The evaluation results of the Te Tumu Waiora collaborative project were so positive, that the government funded national rollout of the model via the ‘Increased Access and Choice Primary Mental Health and Addiction Service’ through the 2019 Wellbeing Budget.

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