Date Published: 31 May 2006
Launch of Strategic Framework for Child and Adolescent - Mental Health Workforce Development (NZ)
A strategic framework for the development of the New Zealand child and adolescent mental health workforce over the next ten years, is launched today by the Associate Minister of Health, Damien O'Connor.
Whakamarama te Huarahi provides a strategy for workforce planning between health, justice, care, protection and education sectors, and across government and non-government service providers. This includes any service responding to infants, children and young people with moderate to severe mental health issues, and substance abuse and dependence.
Previous strategies and stocktakes have shown that growing the workforce will be essential to the expansion and development of specialist infant, child and youth mental health services in New Zealand.
Whakamarama te Huarahi includes recommendations for national, regional and local workforce development planning to address the challenges and issues facing the specialist child and adolescent mental health workforce and related workforces.
Key strategic challenges include focussed workforce planning processes at the national and local levels, taking into account the wide range of groups involved to ensure appropriate workforce numbers, training and support to all who respond to child and adolescent mental health and substance issues. This includes psychologists, nurses, social workers and occupational therapists, as well as care and protection, education, youth justice and healthcare professionals. In addition, the diverse workforce is needed and will be achieved through the development and promotion of initiatives to encourage related workers in low-represented groups, such as Maori, Pacific, Asian and males, and to provide services with both clinical and cultural expertise.
The strategy was commissioned by the Ministry of Health, and undertaken by the Werry Centre. The Werry Centre is one of four national workforce development organisations responsible for working with District Health Boards to strengthen the mental health workforce. The centre is housed within the Department of Psychological Medicine, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences at The University of Auckland. The Workforce Development Programme is contracted to the Ministry of Health through UniServices, a not-for-profit organisation wholly owned by the University.
" This strategic framework aims to forge a dynamic relationship between policy agencies, funders, mental health and training providers to increase the capacity and capability of the sector," said Sue Treanor, Director of the Werry Centre.
" If we can get it right for children and young people then we are making a positive contribution to the mental health of all New Zealanders."
" Workforce shortages in this sector should be seen in the context of specialist health workforce shortages, but having the added complication of being a sub-specialty within health and mental health training" said Annemarie Wille, Project Leader.
" This framework describes processes at the systems level and at the service level to address the complex challenges and issues involved in planning a multi-disciplinary workforce", she said.
Source(s): Auckland University, New Zealand