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Updated competencies for the mental health and addiction service user, consumer and peer workforce launched

We are very proud to announce the launch of the revised and refreshed Competencies for the New Zealand mental health and addiction service user, consumer and peer workforce.

The competencies were first developed in 2014 to help shape the development of this workforce in mental health and addiction services. The 2021 revised and refreshed competencies are the result of robust consultation from consumer, peer support and lived experience workers, managers, leaders and allies from the sector.

To celebrate the launch of the refreshed competencies, Te Pou held a webinar on Friday 23 June which included hearing from Martin Burke (Programme Director Lived Experience at the Ministry of Health), Magdel Hammond (National Manager of Mind and Body), Janice McGill (Peer Development Manager at Pathways) and Sam White (Deputy Director of dapaanz).

Martin kicked off the webinar by outlining the value of using the competencies to guide practice when working in consumer, peer support and lived experience roles. He emphasised the applicability of the competencies at both an organisational level and a personal level. Martin described the role the competencies have alongside the Consumer, peer support and lived experience (CPSLE) workforce development strategy and soon-to-be-finalised action plan from the strategy.

Magdel and Janice gave really excellent presentations outlining the importance of competencies in developing a robust workforce, how they have used the current competencies to do that, and their hopes and vision for the future of our workforce using the refreshed competencies as a major tool in that.

Sam spoke of how important the competencies have been in redeveloping the dapaanz Code of Ethics this year, and of dapaanz's commitment to supporting and developing the CPSLE workforce. Partnership and allyship will be pivotal as we face the future that includes health reforms and changes in legislation.

Questions to the panel from the participants were thoughtful and thought provoking, and ranged from big philosophical questions - such as how do we professionalise while maintaining our unique talents and abilities - to where can we get a copy. What was really clear was the interest and passion people have for growing and supporting this workforce.

The Competencies for the mental health and addiction service user, consumer and peer workforce are available on our website.

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