Gilbert Azuela

Project lead – Practice

Gilbert leads the successful delivery of a range of projects within the Practice team. The portfolio includes least restrictive practice initiatives, six core strategies in reducing and eliminating seclusion and restraint, sensory modulation and talking therapies.

Gilbert is passionate about the use of sensory based interventions to assist people in managing mental distress. His passion for working with people and supporting them to achieve their potential has been the focus of his career. This has included initiation, development, implementation and evaluation of sensory modulation for mental health service users and staff. 

Gilbert has worked in a variety of work settings, both government and non-government sectors, prior to moving to Te Pou. His most recent experience was as clinical advisor for the implementation and evaluation of the Mental Health and Reintegration Services at the Department of Corrections. 

Gilbert's research interests include least restrictive practice, sensory modulation, process and outcome evaluation and talking and doing therapies. 

He obtained his bachelor's degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Perpetual Help and a post-graduate certificate in Health Professions Education from the University of the Philippines. He has a master's degree endorsed with merit in Occupational Therapy from the Otago Polytechnic and a Doctor of Philosophy (Clinical Health Science) with a focus on the implementation and impact of sensory modulation in acute mental health care from the Auckland University of Technology.

He is a current Tangata Tiriti Councillor and Advocacy Task Force and Issues member of the New Zealand Occupational Therapy Association.

Current projects