Earlier this year, I was supported by the Canterbury District Health Board to attend TheMHS conference in Adelaide, the theme was Hear the Whisper Not the Roar: Reform, Reflect and Review. I presented on our Equally Well New Zealand collaborative, alongside Russell Roberts (Charles Sturt University) and Kate Jackson (NSW Health) who are very involved in the Equally Well Australian collaborative.

The main focus of my presentation was ‘collaboration’ and how we are working together nationally, to make changes within our own areas of work or practice. I gave a brief overview from the Equally Well perspective on what the potential drivers of inequities and action planning are; the potential impact of diagnostic overshadowing; prescribing for wellness and using a trauma-informed care model. 

I also spoke about the work myself and two colleagues are doing at CDHB – presenting on Equally Well contributing factors; to be mindful of the physical health disparities for consumers experiencing mental health and solutions to fifth-year medical students at Otago University. The students hear from a consumer who has experienced diagnostic overshadowing and talks about prescribing for wellness. This has been received positively and we have been asked to continue this teaching next year.       

Written by Tanya Ewart, Charge Nurse Manager, Canterbury DHB