Te Pou o te Whakaaro Nui, on behalf of the Ministry of Health, has been leading a refresh of the Let’s get real framework. A thorough process has been undertaken to refresh the framework, involving extensive consultation over the past year. A final refreshed Let's get real is now with the Ministry of Health for approval and subsequent launch.
The overall aim of the refresh has been ensuring Let’s get real remains fit for purpose now and into the foreseeable future. There was an opportunity to reflect on the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes set out in the framework and to consider the ongoing relevance of these. The refresh looked at what needs to be changed to ensure the framework continues to support effective practice and service provision for people experiencing mental health problems and addiction and their whānau.
In the decade since Let’s gets real was launched there have been some important developments we needed to factor in to the refresh. Some key examples include (but are not limited to):
Since Let’s gets real was developed there have been changes in the workforce itself, with the growth of peer roles and increased numbers of support workers. Critically, the way we view the workforce is changing – there is greater recognition that mental wellbeing is everybody’s business and that responsibilities extend across all sectors. This has important implications for workforce development within the health sector. Let’s gets real needs to have relevance across the breadth and depth of the workforce and different health service contexts.
There have also been changes in the way we work, for example growing use of technology in the delivery of health services means we need a workforce that is technologically capable.
The focus of Let’s get real will be on working with people who are experiencing mental health problems and addiction wherever and whenever they are involved in or in contact with the health system – regardless of the service context. This reflects the changing landscape of service delivery, such as closer integration of primary and secondary health services. It aligns with the New Zealand Health Strategy strategic theme of 'one team' which advocates for a more cohesive team approach across our health and disability system.
Let’s get real is complementary to professional competency frameworks. It applies across the whole mental health and addiction workforce – it is not profession specific. The aim is to support the workforce in developing and maintaining shared values, attitudes, knowledge and skills. Regardless of role, these are needed by everyone to provide an effective service for people experiencing mental health problems and addiction and their whānau. This aligns with the New Zealand Health Strategy strategic theme of ‘one team’ and supports the priorities set out in The Mental Health and Addiction Workforce Action Plan 2017-2021, particularly priority 3 - A workforce that is competent and capable.
There is growing recognition in the delivery of health services that values are important and that expression of values has a direct impact on the effectiveness of services. The Let’s get real values were developed collaboratively by people who experience mental health problems and addiction and their whānau, as well as people working in services. The values do not replace organisational values - they express the fundamental shared values across all mental health and addiction services. The refresh of Let’s get real has provided an opportunity to consider the ongoing relevance of the values and attitudes to support the workforce to effectively support people with mental health problems and addiction.