Te Pou o te Whakaaro Nui is excited to announce the launch of the Let’s get talking toolkit. Three years in the making, the Let’s get talking toolkit is a suite of tools to support primary and secondary services deliver effective talking therapies.

To celebrate this milestone Te Pou hosted a launch event in October with 40 guests in attendance from organisations such as the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, the Werry Centre, primary and secondary mental health and addiction services, NGO representatives and key stakeholders from the psychology and academic sectors who have supported us in the development of Let’s get talking.  

What’s in the toolkit?

Let’s get talking is a set of seven tools, which has built on the research from Te Pou’s Talking Therapies: where to next? and the series of  Talking Therapies Guides for mental health and addiction, as well as the strong international evidence base for the effectiveness of talking therapies.

Services and health practitioners can use the toolkit to help determine what talking therapies are best for the people they work with, plus the knowledge and skills needed to deliver and evaluate them.  

Tina Earl, Te Pou talking therapies lead, is excited to see the work come to life. “Completing the toolkit is a personal highlight for me and I’m looking forward to promoting the use of the tools in health care,” said Tina.

The development of Let’s get talking has been guided by the Ministry of Health actions in Rising to the Challenge. It was great to have Dr John Crawshaw, chief advisor and director of mental health at the Ministry of Health in the audience to show his support for the toolkit and talking therapies.

The stepped care model

The tools are based on the stepped care model, which is designed to ensure the right type and level of support and therapy is offered to a person at the right time. “Earlier intervention in the community, through talking therapies, is part of a stepped care approach that will reduce health care costs for New Zealand. It also reflects the sector’s move from a primarily treatment focussed system, to more recovery oriented system,” said Robyn Shearer, Te Pou chief executive.

Talking therapies and the stepped care model are now underway in many DHB secondary services, and future work will see this expand into the primary care sector where there is a high need for early and brief interventions. Guest speaker, Dr David Codyre, psychiatrist working in primary care further supported the high need for effective evidence based therapies for mental health and addiction issues.  

Experience of Manaia Health

Guest speakers Maurein Betts and Petite Nathan from Manaia PHO in Northland shared their experience of trialling Te Pou’s brief intervention resource in three rural GP practices. The brief intervention resource was developed in response to requests for a desktop talking therapies tool for primary care that could be readily used by GPs and practice nurses while working with people presenting with early and mild mental health and addiction issues, including stress and grief. Highlights from this trial included:

  • better relationships and interactivity between PHO and practice staff  based around a tangible intervention
  • a tool that enabled practice staff to “have a deeper conversation with the patients that went beyond the sore leg or other physical complaint”
  • discovery that intervening early in mental health difficulties really does make a difference for people.

Where to next?

The next phase of Let’s get talking is to encourage and support services to use the toolkit to implement talking therapies as a core part of service delivery. This will also promote the stepped care approach as a robust co-ordinated model of care across sectors.  The aim is to provide the workforce with a model and evidence based tools to provide more care options, for much better outcomes, to people accessing mental health and addiction services anywhere along the health continuum. 

Get in touch

We would like to hear what is happening in your service to promote effective talking therapy delivery and stepped care. Get in touch with either Tina Earl or Jo van Leeuwen.