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

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Campaign type:

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, which include:

  • establishing contemporary community support services to support tāngata whaiora with high and complex needs and close Ward 11 at Wakari Hospital
  • establishing a new five-bed mental health crisis respite care facility in Dunedin with comfortable home-like surroundings, in partnership with Pact (due to open in September 2022)
  • increasing crisis support options for the Queenstown/Central Otago and Waitaki regions
  • developing a framework for ‘by Māori for Māori’ investment and Kaupapa Māori services; identifying inequities, monitoring outcomes and ensuring accountability to whānau, hapū and iwi, and ringfencing funding for development of services
  • expanding alcohol and other drug services (AOD), firstly focusing on Dunedin
  • developing peer-led crisis/wellbeing services across several sites
  • developing the plan to grow and support the peer workforce, people with lived experience of the mental health service who become trained counsellors
  • developing short, medium and long term plans for improving and ultimately building new inpatient facilities.

Project progress 

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

The Southern DHB is in the process of selecting one or two providers (NGOs) to develop and provide community intensive support services, including housing to enable people to move out of hospital.

Built in 1915, 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 closure of Ward 11, a 16-bed clinical rehabilitation unit.

Engagement has begun with Ward 11 patients, whānau and caregivers. The community support required for each patient will be put in place prior to their departure from the ward.

Increasing Dunedin mental health crisis respite care capacity

Dunedin’s capacity for emergency mental health respite care will increase in September 2022, with a five-bed home opening in a residential environment less than 10 minutes from Dunedin Hospital.

The home is being 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

One of the programmes the Change Leadership Group is overseeing is the increase of crisis support options in Queenstown, Central Lakes and Waitaki - areas that have been recognised as having gaps in their mental health service.

The limited options to support people in some areas results in tāngata whaiora being transported several hours’ drive for acute care, away from their homes and any local support systems. Conversely, the lack of local community options can make discharging people, from inpatient facilities in Invercargill or Dunedin more difficult.

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.

A strategy is 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.