In June 2019, the Taranaki DHB Portfolio-Manager for mental health and addiction, surveyed organisations providing mental health and addiction services to whānau in the area. The survey was designed to provide an analysis of Equally Well service provision in the area. Unfortunately, some services were not included in the survey responses, which may have limited the analysis. However, the findings may encourage people to become engaged in future iterations of this work. 
In September, the findings were distributed back to the participants and wider treatment-provider network to generate discussion about the kaupapa. The recommendations included:

  • Encourage services to have an Equally Well service lead.
  • Develop an inter-agency advisory group (made up of service leads as described above) to support and grow Equally Well across mental health and addiction services.
  • Develop a shared comprehensive Equally Well service list, mapping where Equally Well services can be accessed by whānau.
  • Coordinate workshops to help plan and implement a collaborative approach to Equally Well.
  • Ensure that all staff in mental health and addiction services are trained in Equally Well service provision and are aware of the range of Equally Well services available to whānau.

The Equally Well analysis (along with a Supporting Parents Healthy Children and maternal mental health analysis), was considered valuable to informing the ongoing planning process and for shaping future provision in the area. It is early days to gauge the impact that the Equally Well Service Self-Assessment has specifically made, however, it is fair to say that it has drawn attention to some crucial issues and has raised awareness of the kaupapa, at several levels throughout the services.

Written by: Steve Neale, Workforce planning lead (mental health and addiction) at HealthShare – Midland DHB.