‘Sharing the wins’ and ‘feeling the energy of change’ were two recurring reflections at our recent Equally Well summer school. This e-news reflects this energy with some examples of change. 

Another change we have made is to lighten your inboxes a little by sending you an e-news each quarter, instead of six weekly. 

We encourage you to join our conversation on Loomio and follow us on Twitter

New Zealand data highlights health inequities

As a leading partner in Equally Well, Te Pou o te Whakaaro Nui has undertaken an analysis of New Zealand Health Survey (NZHS) data to better understand the physical health needs of people who experience mental health conditions. 
Findings highlight the poor physical health of people who experience mental health conditions as a health equity issue. For example, while not inevitable, people with a diagnosis of anxiety and/or depression were more likely to have had a stroke or to experience chronic pain compared to people without a diagnosis of anxiety or depression. Despite this higher health need, people with depression and anxiety do not experience the same access to, and quality of, health care.
Read about the key findings and recommended actions for improving people’s wellbeing in this quick glance infographic.

A new quality initiative from Compass Health

A new quality initiative from Compass Health is helping patients in the Wellington region benefit from annual wellness checks to address the physical health issues associated with some long-term mental health conditions. 

Read the media release (scroll through to release date: 23 January 2018): Supporting better health outcomes for people with Long Term Mental Health conditions.

See also: Dr Lynn McBain: data a powerful tool in delivering better health outcomes

Learnings from Summer School 2018

Last month the University of Auckland hosted a two-day Equally Well summer school in partnership with Te Pou and Platform Trust

Read more about the summer school.  

DOMHNs work plan supports Equally Well

Last month Te Pou met with the national Directors of Mental Health Nursing during their two-day work planning forum.  

These 20 senior nurses each play a vital role in the development and implementation of policy and practice inside DHB mental health and addiction services. They work alongside Directors of Mental Health and Addiction Services and general managers, supporting the day to day function and development of services. As a group, they provide advice on mental health nursing to the Ministry of Health and physical health services in other parts of their respective DHBs.  

Each year this group puts together a work plan outlining agreed key priorities and activities. This year they were keen to include Equally Well as a priority and so we presented and discussed the Evidence Update (Te Pou, 2017). Informed by this, there was agreement to revisit support for Quit Smoking and make Metabolic Monitoring a priority workforce development activity.  

It was great to hear about the challenges and successes for the mental health nursing workforce in relation to Equally Well across the country. The Directors of Mental Health Nursing are real champions of Equally Well, and are a great resource for everyone passionate about reducing the physical health disparities outlined in the Evidence Update.   

CVD Risk Assessment and Management Guidelines

The revised guidelines for CVD risk management have been published. People with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder are acknowledged as a high-risk group and screening from age 25 years is recommended. 

Back in 2016, three Equally Well organisations - Te Pou o te Whakaaro Nui, the New Zealand Heart Foundation and Otago University partnered together to seize an opportunity to improve cardiovascular disease (CVD) health outcomes among people who experience mental health conditions. We conducted an evidence review and made a submission to the Ministry of Health, as part of their revision of the CVD risk management guidelines. Read about the new changes here.

The effectiveness of collective impact

The Tamarack Institute's collective impact framework talks about five core conditions:

  1. the development of a common agenda
  2. using shared measurement to understand progress
  3. building on mutually reinforcing activities
  4. engaging in continuous communications
  5. providing a backbone to move the work forward.

See more information and resources on the Collective Impact page.