Te Pou offices are open across the country. However, we encourage you to contact our team by email or phone in the first instance - see our staff contact page for details. Stay safe everyone.

Te Pou offices are open across the country. However, we encourage you to contact our team by email or phone in the first instance - see our staff contact page for details. Stay safe everyone.

The Six Core Strategies service review tool

The Six Core Strategies© are evidence-informed approaches effective in reducing seclusion and restraint events. This whole-of-system approach was originally developed in the US by the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors Medical Directors Council (NASMHPD). It is also used in the UK, Canada, Australia, and Finland.

The New Zealand adaption, formerly known as the Six Core Strategies® checklist (2013), was developed by Te Pou to support services implement the strategies within the New Zealand context. This adaption was refreshed in 2020 to ensure the strategies remain current and useful for services. Feedback from the sector identified potential ways to strengthen the use of the Six Core Strategies© to meet current and future needs. Read the sector feedback summary here.

The refreshed Six Core Strategies© service review tool (2020) was published following sector feedback and commitment to seclusion reduction and eventual elimination. This service review tool aims to support leaders and managers in implementing the Six Core Strategies© in mental health services. The tool is designed to help services to regularly review their progress in shifting towards least restrictive practice through identifying key priorities and supporting ongoing quality improvement and systems change. The Six Core Strategies© service review tool can be accessed here.

An overview of the six strategic areas is outlined below.

  1. Leadership towards organisational change – Leadership must be aligned and committed to supporting, applying, and resourcing seclusion and restraint reduction initiatives. The inclusion of Māori leadership is important in supporting partnership, participation, and responsibilities under Te Tiriti o Waitangi. This section of the service review tool can be accessed here.
  2. Full inclusion of lived experience – Full and formal inclusion of people with personal experience in recovery in a variety of roles in the service to assist in the reduction of seclusion and restraint. It is important to have robust cultural and lived experience perspectives influencing your work. This section of the service review tool can be accessed here.
  3. Using data to inform practice – The use and analysis of data enables quality improvement activities to improve the outcomes and experiences of people, whānau and workers. This section of the service review tool can be accessed here.
  4. Workforce development – Staff training and education contributes to a least restrictive practice environment. Workforce development helps to equip workers with the right skills, knowledge, values, and attitudes to respond effectively to the needs of people and whānau experiencing distress. This section of the service review tool can be accessed here.
  5. Use of seclusion and restraint reduction tools – The use of best practice tools and assessments that are integrated into each person’s treatment stay and planning e.g. assessment tools, seclusion and restraint history, safety plans, advance directives, sensory modulation, and welcoming practices. This section of the service review tool can be accessed here.
  6. Debriefing techniques – Debriefing for people, whānau and staff members can assist in supporting people who have been involved in any adverse event and reduce the traumatic impact of such events. It can also provide important information to assist both individuals and teams in planning for how they may prevent or respond to future concerns. This section of the service review tool can be accessed here.

Webinar series

Te Pou is hosting a series of webinars to support the recent launch of the Six Core Strategies Service Review Tool. This will involve a total of seven webinar sessions across October and December. Each session will focus on a specific area of the Six Core Strategies and will feature guest speakers who are strong supporters of least restrictive practice and the eventual elimination of seclusion.

The webinars aim to:

  • provide an opportunity to learn more about each of the six strategies and guidance on how to implement the tool in your service
  • highlight the successful work happening across the sector
  • boost the engagement across the sector.

You may wish to attend all seven sessions or select the ones that interest you the most. You can view the full webinar schedule here, or visit the event pages below to register. 

28 October 1–2:30pm: Introducing the Six Core Strategies Service Review Tool
4 Nov 1–2:30pm: Strategy 1: Leadership towards organisational change
11 Nov 1–2:30pm: Strategy 2: Full inclusion of lived experience
18 Nov 1–2:30pm: Strategy 3: Using data to inform practice
24 Nov 10–11:30am: Strategy 4: Workforce development
2 Dec 1–2:30pm: Strategy 5: Use of seclusion and restraint reduction tools
9 Dec 1–2:30pm: Strategy 6: Debriefing techniques