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Support workers connect at the Māhuri Tōtara event in Tāmaki Makaurau

Support workers working across the spectrum of the mental health and addiction sector came together on 12 March for the first of two planned national summits for 2024. The theme this year is ‘Hononga – Connection’. Attendees from across Te Ika a Māui – the North Island spent the day together connecting with each other and hearing other support workers talk about what drives them in their mahi. Presentations also made connections between support work roles and sector issues such as outcomes data and pay equity.

“The opportunity to come together, share experiences, and learn from one another is invaluable in improving our practice and ensuring that we can provide the best possible support to those who need it most. Thank you for organising such a meaningful event, and I look forward to future opportunities to engage and grow as a support worker.” - Attendee

Among the many topics discussed, people raised the fact that support workers would like to be seen by the wider mental health and addiction sector as professionals in their own right, and people wondered about the possibilities of having a professional body or having funders or managers attend the summit in the future.

The second summit for support workers based in Te Waipounamu South Island will be held on 13th June in Ōtautahi Christchurch. This will continue with the theme of Hononga/Connection and will provide an opportunity for support workers to connect and learn from others to enhance their practice.

There is no cost to attend, and registrations are open. Te Pou is offering a limited number of travel and accomodation grants to assist people to be able to attend.

Mahuri Totara

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