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Brought to you by Te Whatu Ora Southern and WellSouth primary health network

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We are focused on delivering a more equitable, inclusive and people-focused mental health and addiction system that supports people to be well in the community.

Our implementation programme focuses on the themes and main findings of Time for Change - Te Hurihanga, and has identified a series of core projects. Find more out about the projects and their progress below. 

Project progress 

Establishing contemporary options to support tāngata whaiora with high and complex needs

Built in 1953, the infrastructure of some of the inpatient facilities at Wakari Hospital no longer supports the delivery of contemporary inpatient mental health practice. As a priority, the Time for Change - Te Hurihanga review recommended the Southern DHB signal the eventual closure of Ward 11, a 16-bed clinical rehabilitation unit.

Te Whatu Ora Southern announced Comcare Trust as the new provider on 1 December 2022 to develop and provide community intensive support services, including housing to enable people to move out of hospital. The new service will provide services that are flexible and tailored to the needs of individuals.

It will take time to set up the service with the first whaiora/patients transitioning into the new service expected in April 2023, ant the transition of all whaiora/patients anticipated to take around 18 months to complete.

Read the media release

Read the FAQs

Increasing Dunedin mental health crisis respite care capacity

Dunedin’s capacity for emergency mental health respite was increased in September 2022, with the opening of a five-bed home opening in a residential environment less than 10 minutes from Dunedin Hospital. The home was set up through a contract with community service provider Pact, which specialises in helping people recovering from mental illness through supported 24/7 accommodation, respite care and community support. Read the media release


Developing a plan to increase crisis support options for Queenstown, Central Lakes and Waitaki regions
  • Queenstown, Central Lakes region

A new mental health crisis support service for Queenstown Lakes and Central Otago residents will be launched in December. The new service will sit alongside the 24/7 regional crisis response service, providing more local options to support people in mental distress including those who may otherwise have needed to be admitted to acute inpatient mental health services. Read more here

Waitaki region

A series of workshops have been held in Waitaki, and a draft model of care for crisis support services is being developed. The next step is to find a provider for these services and this is planned for early 2023.

Developing a 'by Māori for Māori' investment plan

The Time for Change – Te Hurihanga programme has committed $1m of its $7m funding to ‘by Māori for Māori’ investment.

An Investment Framework has been being prepared for increased investment in Hauora Māori (Māori wellness) to design and commission local responses for Māori including more Kaupapa Māori throughout the organisation. (The lack of Kaupapa Māori mental health services was identified in the review as being extremely concerning.)

Under the plan, inequities will be identified and the delivery and outcomes for Māori will be monitored to ensure accountability to whānau, hapū and iwi.

Expanding alcohol and other drug services (AOD) 

Community based alcohol and drugs services in Otago are expanding with the announcement in November 2022 of Te Kāika in Dunedin who will be running the new service. The service is expected to be fully operational by February 2023. It will include wānaga, whānau ora approaches, therapeutic interventions and peer support all delivered within a Māori framework. It will be available to all adults with moderate to severe and/or complex addiction issues, with a specific focus on connecting with Māori. Read more here.

Developing peer-led mental health and addiction services across several sites

A co-design process is in progress to develop a model of care for peer-led services. Workshops have taken place across the district for community, and for people with lived experience.

Developing the plan to grow and support the peer workforce

A co-design process is in progress to develop a Consumer, Peer Support and Lived Experience (CPSLE) Workforce Development Action Plan. Workshops have taken place across the district for community, and for people with lived experience. The next step is to work with Ōtākau Mental Health and Addictions Network and Future Directions Southland to co design the model of care for peer support services.




Enhanced child and youth services for Otakou and Waitaki

Co-design for enhanced child and youth services has commenced for Otakou and also Waitaki.  Workshops are planned for early 2023.

Day support services 

A proposal for a contemporary day service delivery model is being developed.