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Model Of Care For Mental Health And Addiction

The model of care for all funded Mental Health and Addictions Services in Tairāwhiti will be based on a broad base of community knowledge, thanks to the huge response to hui (meetings) held late last year.

More than 300 people and organisations shared their thoughts on the mental health and addictions issues our communities are facing, says Hauora Tairāwhiti Planning and Funding Manager Nicola Ehau who fronted many of the hui. “We also got feedback from questionnaires, an online form, workplaces and organisations who provide services to people affected by mental health and addiction like police and clinical staff.”

The review flows on from He Ara Oranga, the 2018 Report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction. The voice of Tairāwhiti people was significantly captured in this report and was the starting point for the Tairāwhiti review.

“What we are hearing from the community across both reviews is consistent. The need for our system to operate in a way that ensures whānau/families have access to what they need, when they need it, taking account of who they are or where they live, is coming through clearly.”

Social environment challenges, values, whānau, crisis response and access to services were some of the key themes identified, adds Ms Ehau. “We heard that people are very concerned about meth use in their communities and that when people are at their lowest that’s when they are ready to ask for help.”

One participant said “Whānau felt happy, well, safe and supported when everything was in balance - when they have happy and healthy whānau. When the whānau are strong as a unit, so too is each individual.”

Another said “Whānau appreciated the help received from kind, non-judgemental, empathetic, caring people and services. We trust people who hear what we are saying, give hugs, smile at us”

Now it is time to share what we learned and use that information to co-design a model of care that works for Tairāwhiti people, says Ms Ehau. “Four hui will be held over the next week where we will report back about what we heard and check that it makes sense. The hui will be in the form of workshops. They will be longer sessions than those held previously so people have time to really participate. We will be co-designing a model with people attending those hui. People need to come along ready to fully engage in designing something that will have a lasting legacy for vulnerable people in Tairāwhiti.”

The project is being overseen by a steering group. Mahi Tahi has representatives from people who access care, their families and all Tairāwhiti mental health and addictions services. “The aim is to create a whole system model of care. This would give a framework that everyone understands. It will answer the questions about what services we need to contract for mental health and addictions care, avoid duplication and misunderstanding on how to get help when you need it.”

The model of care will be presented to the Hauora Tairāwhiti Board for input well before the end of the financial year in June 2020.

New Mental Health and Addiction Facility

Once we have an agreed model of care, it will inform the design of the new mental health and addiction facilities to be built or redesigned with the up to $20 million of grant money announced by the Government in June 2019. Planning for that facility is underway. The Steering Group for the project, which has whaiora (service user), whānau, iwi, clinical, management and other service provider representation, is being supported by a consultancy company.

This is a major project for us says Chief Executive Jim Green. “We will be assisted by consultants and architects who have experience producing the documents required and working on similar projects across the country.”

“Once the initial business case is approved there will be a second intensive round of design, informed by the users of the facility, to develop final plans which will go out for tender. All going well we are planning to have building underway before the end of 2021.”


Model of care Hui


Day: Wednesday 26 February 
Time: 10am to 4pm
Venue: Uepohatu Marae, Whakarua Park Road, Ruatoria


Day: Friday 28 February 
Time: 1pm - 6pm 
Venue: Poutama Room. Gisborne Hospital


Day: Monday 2 March
Time: 1pm-6pm 
Venue: Te Tini o Porou, Huxley Road Entrance, Kaiti


Day: Thursday 5 March
Time: 1pm-6pm
Venue: Te Rau Aroha College, Temple Street, Gisborne

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