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Working with older people: Mental health and addiction workforce development priorities summary infographic

In 2018, Te Pou began a project to identify workforce development priorities and workforce initiatives to grow and develop the mental health and addiction workforce for older people.

This one-page infographic provides key findings from the report summarising the first year of the Working with Older People project.

Like other developed nations, New Zealand’s population is ageing. The number of New Zealanders aged 65 years and over (older people) is expected to increase by nearly 40 per cent over the next ten years to 2028 and this population will become more ethnically diverse over time.

Mental health and addiction issues among older New Zealanders are often under-recognised. Each year, one to two in every six older people may have serious problems with mental health or alcohol consumption. Prescribing rates for mental health medications are high for older people but their access to secondary care mental health and addiction services is low.

10 priorities

Workforce development infrastructure

  • Older people are a priority group
  • Nationally consistent approach to services
  • Older people and whānau advisors
  • Primary prevention & early intervention strategy

Information, research and evaluation

  • National mental health survey
  • Model workforce supply and demand

Learning and development

  • Build mental health and addiction capabilities

Recruitment and retention

  • Build workforce capacity

Organisational development

  • Age-friendly cultures
  • Leadership and networks

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