EstheMeet Esthe Davis, Clinical Manager - Community Mental Health, Lakes DHB

Tell us a little about yourself, who are you and what is your role?

I am a New Zealand registered occupational therapist who qualified in South Africa and has 20 years clinical experience. I am currently the clinical manager for the Community Mental Health & Addiction Service for Older People.   My role is 0.6 managerial and 0.4 clinical, with a focus on triage and crisis interventions.  I am a Duly Authorized Officer (DAO) and therefore assist the team in navigating matters pertaining to the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment & Treatment) Act.

Previously I worked as an occupational therapist in a 50 bed residential drug & alcohol rehabilitation center; a 14 bed acute in-patient psychiatric ward; as a Crisis Assessment & Treatment Team (CATT) member and later I acted as team leader for the CATT team.  For the past 3 years I have also represented Lakes DBH as the Psychosocial Disaster Response Coordinator, working closely alongside the Bay of Plenty and Waikato Civil Defense Welfare Coordination groups.

Family is very important to me and my husband Charles, hence our recent 6 week trip to South Africa to catch up with everyone. I describe myself as a ‘try athlete’ because I like to try everything (e.g. rock climbing, scuba diving or parachuting) at least once!  But my favourites would definitely be Cuban Salsa dancing and kayaking.

How do you see yourself supporting the Mental Health & Addiction sector and how can we in turn support you?

In some ways I think I will be the ‘word processor’ for the Mental Health & Addiction module of the eSpace programme.  A lot of what I do already is making connections between whaiora, clinicians and IT specialists.  It is important that IT concepts work within everyday clinical practice. 

My almost 15 years experience with Lakes District Health Board (DHB) in various roles affords me sound knowledge of the clinical processes and the needs of Specialist Mental Health & Addiction Services (MHAS).   One of my primary goals over the next few months will be to get a clearer picture of the similarities and differences among the 5 DHB’s in the Midland region so that I can accurately represent all services.  And everyone at health share has already been very helpful in teaching me IT ‘speak’.

What would you like to achieve working alongside various people in Mental Health & Addiction services?

Firstly, I know that our tangata whaiora (clients / consumers) and their families / whanau will benefit from greater consistency and cohesion across services in the Midland region.

I am a strong advocate for holistic whaiora care that recognizes the intrinsic value, beliefs and unique life perspectives of each person in order to promote choices that support dignity and quality of life.   I believe in the value of regional collaboration and I am passionate about the potential benefits of the Midland eSpace solution.  I hope to see improved safety for our whaiora, standardisation of forms and processes, staff time focused on activities that achieve outcomes for whaiora, not paperwork, and functional tools that better supports mundane administrative tasks.

If you could change one thing in the Health Sector, what would that be?

Have ONE clinical file owned by the person and accessible by health professionals in all areas including primary and specialist care. 

What is your favourite “whakatauki – words of wisdom”?

“Mehemea ka moemoea ahau, ko au anake.  Mehemea ka moemoea e tatou, ka taea e tatou” ”

“If I am to dream, I dream alone.  If we all dream together, then we will achieve”

- Te Puea Herangi

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