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Workforce development priorities for support workers

Support workers are vital in mental health and addiction services, offering holistic support to tāngata whai ora. Support workers have a significant role to play in transforming the mental health and addiction system with a greater focus on community supports.

Increasing workforce size, demands, and complexity of support offered means support workers need to build enhanced skills. A series of focus groups held in June 2022 with support workers and leaders/managers highlighted key workforce development priorities including:

  • access to ongoing learning and professional development
  • being recognised and valued as a profession
  • support for health and wellbeing
  • recruitment and retention of support workers.

This document summarises key information discussed at the focus groups. The information will be used to inform future initiatives for support workers. We would like to thank all the people who participated in the focus groups.