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Equitable Access to Wellbeing work continues with learning opportunities

Equitable Access to Wellbeing - Dual Disability Mental Health Services Hui

As a group, people with intellectual disabilities experience higher rates of mental health challenges. To support these people and their whānau, New Zealand has a number of regional dual disability mental health services (both forensic and non-forensic).

On Thursday 25 and Friday 26 May 2023, the Te Pou Equitable Access to Wellbeing team brought together the dual disability mental health specialist services from across Aotearoa.

This was the second session for this group (the first was held in December 2022) and it was an opportunity to bring colleagues together, discuss the Whaikaha-sponsored Equitable Access to Wellbeing framework, and establish a community of practice that will endure.

  • Dr Chris Garrod (Clinical Psychologist (Consultant)) Forensic Intellectual Disability Secure Services (FIDSS) Te Whatu Ora – Waitematā spoke about how the Pohutukawa team had used the six skills outlined in the framework as a benchmark upon which to identify skill gaps and identify opportunities to address these gaps.
  • Lived experience experts presented on the importance of self-advocacy and how they can support and promote self-advocacy. These advocates also introduced Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) techniques and technologies.
  • Dr Martyn Matthews (Consultant in Autism and Developmental Disabilities) and Gabby Hogg (Specialist ASD Consumer Advisor) discussed Autistic Catatonia and its presentation and treatment.
  • Dr Henrietta Trip, RN, PhD (Otago) from the University of Otago spoke about opportunities for Continuing Professional Development for these specialist services.
  • The group valued the opportunity to connect and learn, and plans are underway to schedule more opportunities (online via the Whāriki platform, virtually and face-to-face) to ensure ongoing engagement.

If you are interested in this work, feel free to contact John Vogenthaler, Principal Advisor Disability –

Neurodiversity and Mental Health – Introduction to the Equitable Access to Wellbeing Framework

Te Pou’s Equitable Access to Wellbeing team and Te Whāriki o te Ara Oranga are hosting a workshop to introduce the wider health and disability sector to the Equitable Access to Wellbeing framework. The session will be held on Wednesday 28 June 2023, from 10:30am to 12:30pm via Zoom.

During this two-hour session, lived experience, mental health, addiction, and disability leaders will:

  • present the case for a focus on the mental health and addiction needs of autistic people and people with a learning disability through: reflection on feedback from people with lived experience and the workforces on the need for the framework and presenting the Te Pou research
  • outline the Equitable Access to Wellbeing framework – The framework is a knowledge and skills framework for mental health, addiction, and disability workforces working in primary, secondary, and tertiary contexts. It outlines six key skills and presents both lived experience and the workforce perspectives of services
  • challenge the group to drive change.

Find out more about the event and register here.

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