Te Hanga Whaioranga Mo Te Iwi - Building Healthy Communities


Newsletters from Services in the Waikato District

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    May 2012 Issue            May 2011 Newsletter


Tapsell Honoured for Indigenous Mental Health Mahi

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists has given Dr Rees Tohiteururangi Tapsell its Mark Sheldon Prize for outstanding contribution to indigenous mental health.

Dr Tapsell is Waikato District Health Board’s director of clinical services and also heads its area of mental health services.

Since gaining his post-graduate fellowship in psychiatry in 1998 he has worked alongside other Maori leaders like Sir Mason Durie to shape Maori mental health development and service delivery for over a decade and half.

He has also been an active member of the college, including serving as a councilor and the chair of its Te Kaunihera committee, which provides advice and support on issues relating to Maori.


A Winning Formula Changes Lives

Winners of the Not for Profit category award, Progress to Health, are not resting on their laurels. Whilst enjoying the enhanced credibility flowing in from the people and organisations they work with they are busy developing their service to meet future growth - given an increase in clientele of 25% in the past 12 months.

Progress to Health CEO, Karen Covell, attributes their win to the outstanding service provided by all staff on a daily basis. “They have a passion for reconnecting individuals to their communities. We work to support people, predominantly those living with mental health issues, make positive changes in their lives by achieving personal goals. This award validates years of hard work to reach a level of excellence” said Karen.

The Progress to Health team evaluates the effectiveness of what they do each and every day through their clients. “Watching the people who use our services achieve whatever goal they’ve set themselves, seeing people choose to return to achieve another goal and the steady stream of referrals tells us we are on the right track.”

The team is excited to offer a new service for businesses and employers that will be launched in 2014. This will raise awareness of mental illness and provide support as needed direct into the workplace.

With the winner’s trophy sitting proudly on display at their offices it serves as a daily reminder of their vision to deliver an excellent service whilst developing successful new initiatives in the future to serve their growing client base.


Southern and Northern Waikato Take A Stand Against Synthetic Drugs

Agencies across New Zealand are working in partnership with communities to prevent harm associated with the sale of synthetic cannabis.  Communities are making a stand which has had a great impact to the sale and legislation of the synthetic drug.  The most powerful statement are locals banning this altogether and challenging the local retailers to stop selling the drug or lose the business generated by everyday customers, this is widely endorsed in the community.

Both Southern and Northern Waikato has made a stand against the drug, if you want to know what your community has done and want to be part of the change just Google your local town to see where your community is up to, for making change.

Synthetic drugs are chemically laced substances similar to marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine that are sold over the counter at some convenience stores, gas stations, tobacco shops and sex shops.

 Based on their chemical make-up, these drugs are commonly divided into two categories:



Though the drug packaging states the products are not intended for human consumption, their design, labelling and marketing clearly allude to the products being smoked and/or inhaled as a drug.


One reason that synthetic drugs are extremely dangerous is that buyers don’t know what chemicals they are ingesting.  Individual products can contain a vast range of different chemical formulations and potencies, some of which can be two to 500 times stronger than THC.

Written by Noeline Kuru



Noeline Kuru - Helping Communities Understand Mental Health

Working with Raukawa on Friday’s from 8.15am we cover many subjects in Mental Health that help our listeners who may not understand the world of Mental Health.

This year we have started with breaking down acronyms eg. what is CAT CMHC Consumer?  We also started work on the various roles and responsibilities of Mental Health workers such as Consumer advisor/advocate, Counselor Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Social workers, Stigma, Discrimination, Tangata Whai Ora, CMH nurse  and who does the work that is needed.

We have also done pieces on and around Suicide so our listeners know – what can you do if someone talking about it, what are some of the signs to look for, who Whanau can get in touch with using 0800 numbers for local services and who can work with the whanau.

We work on breaking things down for the whanau like Anxiety – what is it, what are some of the feelings that are going on with ones emotional state and helping on to understand how to work with the Te Whare Tapa Wha model, you may have the clinical side sorted but lets look at how we reconnect wellness through the corner stones.

Each week the Consumer advocate and Noeline come up with scripts that they know the everyday person might not understand in the world of Mental Health and promoting wellness and non Discrimination behaviour  by the public.  This is done by utilising statistical information and research from Mental Health and the Mason Inquiry into the mental-health services in the 1990s, resulting in the 1996 Mason Report.  This recommended a public education campaign to reduce discrimination associated with mental illness.  

We continue to get good feedback and have met a few people who we have been able to refer to the appropriate services, this has been a great privilege.

Raukawa FM Te Reo Iriranga o Raukawa 90.6 95.7 website: www.raukawafm.co.nz for more information.



Since 2009 Health Waikato Mental Health and Addictions (MH&AS) has committed to a major change programme focused on improving the way services are delivered.  The programme has sought to deliver on five key actions outlined in our strategic plan, which states Health Waikato MH&AS will:

The programme has sought to deliver on five key actions outlined in our strategic plan, which states Health Waikato MH&AS will:

This commitment to addressing our processes and systems has provided the opportunity to design a new service delivery model for adult mental health that responds to current and future challenges.

The ‘Time for Change’ project describes the planning and implementing of the adult mental health services re-design that has since 2011 included a wider focus encompassing all mental health and addictions services. 

Our goal of maintaining a skilled workforce with a focus on performance begins with leadership and ensures everyone is accountable to the success of the programme.

After a well managed planning process that included consultation with staff as well as a range of relevant stakeholders, a new model of service delivery has been developed. The model was approved to be implemented in 2012.

Two significant changes to the service involve:

  1. The new triage ‘single standardised process of entry’ and ‘identified appointment’ processes will be operationalised on Monday 21 May 2012. This ensures the same process is provided for all non-urgent adult mental health referrals. (More information below).
  2. The district will be split into two sectors (North and South) that will have equitable access to resources based on service-user population.

For more information about the programme of change please click on the link to visit www.waikatodhb.health.nz/changeandperformance and sign up the eNews to receive regular updates about the programme.



In November (2011), Health Waikato’s Mental Health and Addictions staff were asked to share their thoughts about the best way forward in terms of improving the services we provide. There was general support for the proposed changes outlined in the staff consultation document. Several key decisions have now been made, meaning we can begin the changes towards providing an improved integrated service.

This year is about to turning the work carried out last year into meaningful improvements. It will be challenging but certainly worth it as we aim to achieve the goal of helping people as they work towards their own recovery.

Service Restructure
There will be two major structural changes to Health Waikato Mental Health and Addictions Service carried out in 2012.

The first change will improve the way service users interact with the service by providing a single method of entry.

This means the same process of assessment will occur for all people presenting the need for mental health and addictions services. This initial assessment will make sure of a consistent procedure for anyone entering the service no matter where they are inWaikato.

The process named ACCIS (acute care coordination integration service) brings together the current centralised triage model with the community assertive treatment team (CATT) model. The goal is for these two teams to function together to ensure safe outcomes acrossWaikato.

The benefit of having this single entry process is that people presenting for the first time will be assessed once and provided with an appropriate response to their needs.

The second change involves the establishment of two sectors withinWaikatodistrict. The North and South sectors will have equitable access to resources based on service-user population.

The decision to form two sectors withinWaikatoresponds to the need of some rural areas that have until now had less access to resources than other areas. By linking up the rural teams and allocating them a distribution of the resources the intention is to improve this unwanted situation.

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For more detailed information about these (and other) changes, the decision document is available on our change and performance webpage. To keep up to date with all of our changes, please sign up to receive the Change and performance E-News (also on the Change and performance web page), using the following link: