Handover | Issue 37 – December 2016 – Reflections

As we close another year it is important to reflect on our achievements for 2016 and what lies ahead. The mental health and addiction nursing workforce is one of our largest, alongside our support workers. The roles that nurses take are many – from leadership to community and primary care.

The policy direction for mental health and addiction services will align to the new health strategy. Services that are people powered, closer to home, high performing, team focused and using technology well. This will have an impact on the role of the nursing workforce.

This year we hosted the TheMHS conference. Our keynote speakers provided us some great perspectives that align to a positive future for people who use services. Dr Arthur C Evans spoke about taking a population/community approach to mental health, addiction and disability. Imagine if our local government invested in
better services? This would enable many more local and accessible solutions that aren’t necessarily reliant on just health funding. Dr Robin Youngson spoke about the difference compassion makes to someone’s health outcomes and challenged us to bring this into our work more openly. Joe Macdonald talked about working
with the transgender community and how we need to embrace diversity in our approaches with people. New perspectives are required to embrace better access to services for our LGBTI community.

These are all important reflections for the direction of the nursing workforce. Traditional roles and ways of working are changing. This will influence culture and direction for our services in exciting ways. We are doing lots of thinking about this at Te Pou as we consider ways to invest positively in the nursing workforce.

This time of year is one of reflection and contemplation. It is also a challenging time for many in our communities. Nurses will continue to provide service tirelessly over the Christmas period and this can be a life saver for many who don’t find the holidays a positive experience.

Thank you for your continued partnership with us and all the good work you do in the sector. We look forward to working with you in 2017.

Ngā mihi, Robyn.