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Working within communities

Meaningful connections for wellbeing

Workers with this set of skills will ensure that people accessing health care have meaningful connections to communities to support and enhance their wellbeing.

Working within communities involves an understanding of social inclusion and wellbeing, community connection, health promotion and prevention, and working in partnership with a range of social and community organisations.

Real Skills for working within communities

A wide set of skills is relevant when working within communities, so we recommend accessing the resources on other Real Skills pages to learn more about: Working with people experiencing mental health and addiction needs, Working with Māori, Working with whānau, and Challenging discrimination.

Directory of community resources and support services

Our directory of community resources will help you navigate what's available. The directory includes helplines and peer support groups, as well as a range of health and social support services.

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.

The resources are organised into three levels:

  • Essential level (for everyone working in health, regardless of role, profession or organisation).
  • Enhanced level (for everyone working in mental health and addiction roles).
  • Leadership level (for everyone who is leading, guiding, educating and resourcing the work of others in health).

Essential level

Resources for everyone working in health, regardless of role, profession or organisation. These resources focus on understanding the social determinants of health, benefits of community connections on people’s wellbeing, and how to access local resources to help people make meaningful connections.

Working within communities online learning module

Te Pou has developed an essential level online learning resource that provides opportunities to explore and reflect on topics that relate to Working within communities. The e-online module is supplemented by a downloadable worksheet and a workbook that provides more in-depth information on the topics covered.

Enhanced level

Resources for everyone working in mental health and addiction roles. These resources focus on practical activities that can help people reflect on their existing social connections and identify connections they would like to strengthen or any desired new connections. When supporting people to make meaningful connections within the community, it is important to consider people’s privacy and health literacy needs.

Leadership level

⁠Many Te Whatu Ora districts have regular Community Health Meetings or Community Health Forums where different groups working in health can meet and discuss any current events and issues. These are a useful mechanism for leaders to know what is happening in their communities so they can plan better responses and share in problem solving for community challenges.

Resources for everyone who is leading, guiding, educating, and resourcing the work of others in health. These resources include information about effective collaboration between services and sectors, and practical tools to support community-led development.

(For more information about engaging with Māori, Pasifika or Asian communities, please see the Working with People and Working with Māori sections.)

Key Contacts

Related Initiatives