Northland DHB Mental Health and Addiction Services took out the Supreme Matua Raki Workforce Innovation Award at the Cutting Edge Conference Oscarz Awards dinner in Rotorua on Thursday night.

The award recognises innovation in work practices contributing to workforce development and wellbeing, with a connected approach central to the supreme winner’s successful community initiative to positively change the lives of tāngata whai ora. 

Partnering with Police, Northland DHB Mental Health and Addiction Services have had significant success reducing methamphetamine demand and associated harm in the region. Keys to the project’s success include the establishment of referral pathways from Police into treatment, offering earlier and more timely treatment and assertive outreach, providing employment support embedded in addiction services, developing community networks, and carrying out community consultation to provide people with the resources they feel they will benefit from the most. 

Odyssey (Auckland) and Odyssey House (Christchurch) also received an award for their ‘Quality Wheel’ drug treatment programme (DTP) service delivery model. Odyssey’s Quality Wheel service delivery tool empowers and supports workforce development across three prison sites and two provider organisations, working together with the funder to deliver a consistent and coherent DTP. 

The Quality Wheel operates like a front door to all aspects of the evidence-based DTP, providing step-by-step guidance, training and operational materials, while also enhancing professional development. The DTP addresses substance use and offending, while also providing opportunities to build pro-social support, improve communication skills and relationships, and ultimately contribute to successful re-integration into the wider community. 

Lifewise Trust Rotorua also received highly recommended acknowledgement for their Patua te Whakamaa initiative. Patua te Whakamaa (removing the shame associated with addiction and mental health issues), reduces stigma at a peer level to build resilience through art and therapeutic techniques that are supported by Manaakitanga (enhanicing people’s mana by showing respect, generosity and care for others).

Supported by volunteers and staff at Lifewise Rotorua, Patua te Whakamaa not only helps programme participants, but also benefits the workforce in a number of ways, including reinforcement of the Let’s get real and Takarangi Competency Framework core knowledge and skills, broadening the skill base to disrupt conventional practice.

Read more about winners of other 2018 Oscarz awards.