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Values informed practice

Our values inform and direct everything we do. In health, it starts with valuing the person sitting in front of you right now and everything they bring with them. The impact of personal and organisational values in providing health services is gaining worldwide recognition, particularly in mental health and addiction services.

In Aotearoa, New Zealand, it is expected that values in health services recognise and reflect the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. Values across health services should reflect Māori world views.

We live and work with people from a broad range of cultures and life experiences. People’s diverse values and perspectives inform their understanding of health and wellbeing. All individual and organisational values have a direct influence on the outcomes for people and whānau. Working in a values informed way is person-centred and improves engagement which has a positive effect on outcomes. Quality health services rely on effective relationships with and between people, whānau and groups. Working in ways that recognise and acknowledge values enables the creation of stronger relationships and more responsive health and social services,
leading to better outcomes. Prioritising values enables services to be more person and whānau centred (Fulford, 2011a).

Let’s get real (Te Pou, 2018) is a framework of values, attitudes, knowledge and skills, relevant to everyone working with people experiencing mental health and addiction needs in any health setting. Let’s get real highlights that values are at the core of health relationships and describes the interplay between values, attitudes and skills to promote more effective practices.

This resource explores values informed and values-based approaches that align with Let’s get real. It describes how these approaches can be embedded into practice across health settings where people and whānau with mental health and addiction needs are accessing services.