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Fresh Minds And Tāmaki Health Delighted To Be Supporting Workforce Pathways

ProCare Fresh Minds, New Zealand’s largest provider of primary mental health and wellbeing services, is delighted to be appointed, alongside Tāmaki Health, for Te Whatu Ora’s Psychologist Intern Hub Services for 2024. The Intern Hub is based at Fresh Minds’ busy central Auckland clinics, and at one of Tāmaki Health’s sites, and sees the interns working in various clinical settings across Tāmaki Makaurau.

The internships are available for students in any University in Aotearoa who are undertaking their final year of post-graduate training in either Clinical Psychology or Health Psychology. We currently have students from the University of Auckland, AUT, and University of Wellington.

Bindi Norwell, Group CEO at ProCare says: “With an estimated shortage of approximately 1,000 psychologists across the country, we are pleased to take an active role in supporting the incoming cohort of professionals, with what we understand to be the first psychology internship hub based in a primary care setting.

“Psychologists are a much-needed workforce in Aotearoa New Zealand, and we need to put a focus on increasing qualified professionals, training, retaining, and providing ongoing support. Mental health and wellbeing is an important part of our wider health, and it is time we start to show how valued psychology leadership is in our healthcare system,” concludes Norwell.

Dr Tania Wilson, General Manager at ProCare Fresh Minds says: “A whole-of-system approach is needed to ensure that we are fixing the short-term and investing in longer term psychological solutions for patients and clients. We need to encourage more students to consider psychology as a career option, making this an affordable pathway, and then also consider the support needed to pursue the training required and establish workplace training options for ongoing development.

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“Both Fresh Minds and Tāmaki Health have a culture of learning and teaching and have always had at least one intern from the Auckland programmes each year (historically hosting health psychology, clinical psychology, and counselling psychology interns). Having an ample number of psychologists with three or more years’ experience across both Clinical and Health Scopes allows us to provide opportunities for observations and observed practice with strong clinical support,” continues Dr Wilson.

“Over the next two years we are confident that the Intern Hub will provide a robust pipeline to support students to complete their psychology training and introduce them to career options in the growing primary care mental and behavioural health field,” notes Dr Wilson.

“Both Fresh Minds and Tāmaki Health will be continuing to scale up the implementation of our integrated primary mental health and addictions services as well as providing psychological services to our respective GP networks, so the opportunity to train and prepare new psychologists for this work is a welcome opportunity for combating the current workforce shortage in mental health and addictions, and particularly the shortage of psychologists,” concludes Dr Wilson.

A mihi whakatau led by Pat Mendes, Cultural Advisor (Fresh Minds & Te Toka Tumai, Te Whatu Ora) with Tracey Thomson, Kaitiaki Hauora (ProCare) and Ariana Rangi, Equity Lead (Tamaki Health & Tū Whakaruruhau) was held in early March to welcome the interns officially to the programme.

Fresh Minds is firmly committed to grow its team of psychologists, nurses, and other allied health professionals, with experience in third wave talking therapies, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, and Acceptance & Commitment Therapy. Additionally, the organisation is passionate about delivering targeted talking therapies and is also flexible in meeting interns’ needs in their university programmes. There will also be opportunities for ongoing professional development relevant to the role of a psychologist working in our settings. For Psychology students currently enrolled in the post-graduate Clinical or Health Psychology programmes looking for internship opportunities for 2025, please contact Kay.McCabe@FreshMinds.co.nz or Amanda.Willetts@FreshMinds.co.nz

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