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Working with people experiencing mental health and addiction needs

Respect, engagement, shared decision-making

Everyone working in health engages meaningfully and works in partnership with people who experience mental health and addiction issues, and focuses on the person’s strengths to support wellbeing and recovery.


This Real Skill covers the knowledge and skills required to respond effectively to a diverse range of people and communities. Being able to respond effectively to priority population groups is important for achieving equitable health outcomes. A list of resources is available about Working with takatāpui and rainbow communities as well as a list of resources about working with ethnic communities.

Resources for the health workforce

The resources listed below are intended to support the learning and development of health workers who work with people and whānau experiencing mental health and addiction issues. These resources are in a variety of different formats, such as videos, e-learnings, fact sheets, reports, and links to support services.

Essential level resources

These resources are for everyone working in health, regardless of role, profession or organisation.

Enhanced level resources

For everyone working in mental health and addiction roles.

Leadership level resources

For everyone who is leading, guiding, educating and resourcing the work of others in health.

(Please note that resources specific to Working with Māori are available in a separate section)

Key Contacts

Related Initiatives