People with experience of mental health or addictions are being asked to provide the West Coast District Health Board with some feedback, to help redesign local services.
The West Coast Mental Health Review (2014) identified a number of ways that services could be made more accessible to the community, including having more help and support for people in their local communities and better alignment with other health services.
West Coast DHB Director Mental Health and Addiction Services Dr Cameron Lacey notes the DHB is currently looking at ways to improve services for people who are not in hospital or under specialist care.
“It is also the right time to focus on how the needs of people with mental health and addiction challenges can best be responded to in the future.
“There has been lots of work undertaken since 2014 to stabilise mental health leadership, strengthen the quality and risk management and increase accountability through reporting systems and structures. This has created a good platform to move to the next stage to better meet the needs of communities.
“We have worked on what we want in terms of future direction and we now need to develop the detail of what this looks like in reality,” he says.
An important aspect of this work is hearing from people and families with experience of mental health or addictions. The experience could be of seeking help from a general practice, a community organisation or a DHB service. It may involve finding other ways of working through a difficult time without going to see someone for help; eg using online or phone services and/or support from family and friends.
“We would like to hear about what was helpful, what wasn't helpful and what people would like to happen in the future.”
People can download an anonymous form from the West Coast DHB website or WCDHB Careers Facebook page – search for Mental Health Services Redesign; or email their thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org. This feedback opportunity closes at end of January 2018.