'Whanganui Rising to the Challenge' stakeholders invited to attend community meetings

29 January 2014
Everyone who lives with, or supports, those with mental illness is urged to attend one of a series of meetings taking place in February to update community groups and interested members of the public on  the development of the Whanganui Rising to the Challenge: The Mental Health and Addiction Service Development Framework.

Described as the road map for Whanganui’s mental health and addiction services over the next five years and beyond, Whanganui Rising to the Challenge is being spearheaded by the Mental Health and Addiction Strategic Planning Group led by Whanganui District Health Board Mental Health and Addiction Services clinical director Dr Frank Rawlinson.

Dr Rawlinson says Whanganui Rising to the Challenge is an important project for everyone who lives with mental illness. He hopes the community will take the opportunity to find out how it is progressing and share their ideas with the planning group.

“Significantly, this is a collaborative project which involves a range of stakeholders in the Whanganui mental health and addiction sector, including users of the services, their families, specialist staff, provider organisations and primary health care teams,” Dr Rawlinson says. 

To date, public participation has been through a series of workshops, information meetings and a feedback survey which have helped identify the following key elements which the Whanganui community needs if it is to support mental health;
  • Safe, supportive and well informed communities which value the social determinants of health, have high levels of health literacy, and do not stigmatise those with mental health conditions and addiction.
  • The service user and their family/whānau to be at the centre of an holistic health service, including mental health and addiction services that are recovery focused.  They will have:
    • access to the information and knowledge they require,
    • early access to services when help is needed,
    • choice in the time, place and style of services, and
    • an opportunity to be involved in service improvement.
  • A skilled workforce that is culturally responsive, kind and instills hope.
  • Respectful partnerships between the service user, their family/whanau and their health professionals; as well as between all health professionals and other agencies involved with a service user.
  • A seamless experience for service users, across providers, agencies, and teams.
  • Clinical records that are available to those who need them, to provide integrated, coordinated clinical care.
  • A commitment to continuous service improvement.
  • Regardless of where a person chooses to seek help, be it the general practice with which they are enrolled, an non-government organisation (NGO), or specialist services, they will be received positively and guided to the help that they need.
  • An emphasis on leadership, including among service users, in the community, organisationally and clinically.
  • Information, and technology, that supports the planning and provision of mental health and addiction services for the Whanganui community.
The community meetings will provide an update on the work-to-date and discuss how the key elements of the framework can be achieved.  Those attending will have an opportunity to contribute their ideas and perspectives in an informal setting.

 The times, dates and venues are as follows:
Location Time Date Venue
Whanganui 7-8pm Monday, 10 February Community House,  Room 100 on 1st floor
60 Ridgway Street, Whanganui
Whanganui 3-4pm Tuesday, 11 February Community House,  Room 100 on 1st floor
60 Ridgway Street, Whanganui
Whanganui 10-11am Wednesday, 12 February Courtroom in Women and Children’s Building
Whanganui District Health Board
Taihape 1-2pm Wednesday, 12 February Dining Room in the DHB Building
Hospital Road, Taihape
Marton 12.30 -1.30pm Monday, 17 February Rangitikei Health Centre
Blackwell Street, Marton
Raetihi 12.30 -1.30pm Wednesday, 19 February The Centre at the Baptist Church
14-16 Seddon Street, Raetihi