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Te Pou o te Whakaaro Nui has commenced a research project, Tōkeke: Building equity in access to work, to identify evidence-based case management services which facilitate improved employment and health outcomes for people who experience mental health and addiction issues.
The research project is a partnership between Te Pou, with Work Counts and Synergia, and is being undertaken in response to the Health Research Council and Ministry of Social Development seeking and funding this research.
Many people who experience mental health and addiction issues want to get a job, develop careers, and see employment as an integral part of recovery and maintaining wellbeing (Peterson, Gordon, & Neale, 2017; Wescott et al., 2015).
Yet, people who experience mental health and addiction issues are 2-4 times more likely to be unemployed than people who do not (OECD, 2018). Furthermore, people who experience mental health and addiction issues make up the largest group of people on welfare benefits and the number is growing (Lockett, Waghorn, & Kydd, 2018; Taylor-Fry, 2016). There are also high numbers of people on welfare benefits who have undisclosed or unrecognised mental health and addiction issues (OECD, 2018).
Tōkeke: Building equity in access to work aims to identify models of successful collaboration between Work and Income case management services and initiatives providing employment support.
The research aims to identify approaches to collaboration that successfully support people who experience addiction or mental health issues, particularly Māori and Pasifika peoples, to return to, and stay in, employment.
Approaches used by successful models of collaborative case management will be identified in order to help organisations transfer these approaches to other contexts and populations.
The outcome of this research project will be a framework that includes the attributes of a successful approach to collaborative case management. This will include implementation guidelines for Work and Income service managers to use to benchmark their current practices against and use to improve programme implementation and methods of collaboration. This is anticipated to improve equity and effectiveness for client, whānau and population outcomes, while also contributing to system improvement and sustainability.
This is a two-year research project that will conclude in 2021. There are three phases to the project:
The project is currently in phase one.
The Tōkeke research team are now seeking good practice examples that provide support to help people who experience mental health and addiction issues into, or back into, employment.
Initiatives can be from iwi, health or non-health, community, government or non-government organisations. There is particular interest in initiatives focused on competitive employment, paid at minimum wage or above, and initiatives with a strong connection to Māori and/or Pasifika.
Examples are being collected until 31 July 2019.