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One step closer to increased peer support at MHAIDS

Published Friday 6 Oct 2023

Four teams have embarked on journeys to determine the best way to partner with NGOs and integrate peer support kaimahi into their teams.

As we previously advised, four MHAIDS teams have been selected to progress to pilot peer support staff working as part of clinical teams: Early Intervention Service, Te Whare o Matairangi, Tūhonohono and Health Pasifika.   

All four have embarked on journeys, alongside a rōpū of lived experience, Māori, Pacific, Disability and MHAIDS advisors, to determine the best way to partner with NGOs and integrate peer support kaimahi into their teams.  

Te Whare o Matairangi already has a relationship with Kites Trust and is working in the same physical space. The rōpū therefore chose to increase the existing Kites contract by 2 FTE through community commissioning. 

Due to the specialised nature of their service (which supports young people, often accessing mental health support for the first time) the Early Intervention Service (EIS) is doing a project to discover what kind of peer support would be best suited for their tāngata whaiora. Amanda Gourlay of EIS is leading the project with support from the Quality Team.  

Health Pasifika will be moving forward in partnership with Mind & Body and Kites Trust, with peer support workers from these NGOs joining the team as 2 and 0.5 FTE respectively. 

Mind & Body is well placed to provide Peer Support to Health Pasifika, as it has a Pacific unit in its organisation that can provide additional culturally responsive peer support advice and guidance. Kites Trust was recognised as a key link because of its group delivery and work with Te Whare o Matairangi. Health Pasifika intend to support Kites Trust kaimahi to build their Pacific cultural competency. 

Tūhonohono elected to move forward with lived experience advisors from Kites Trust (2.5 FTE). Kites Trust is located close by the team base in Newtown, and the team liked that Kites is a 100% Lived Experience organisation. Another favourable aspect was their vision of peer support - connecting inpatient settings, community treatment service and community peer support, including groups.  

The project team will work to finalise all the documentation and agreement paperwork needed to set up these contracts. Peer support workers will start to join MHAIDS teams next year while also studying their Health & Wellbeing Certificate – Peer Support Level 4 at tertiary education institute Whitireia. 

The teams will be supported by a quarterly accountability function chaired by Suzie Baird to help celebrate success and support teams with any issues.  

Image: L-R standing: Mike Sukolski (Lived Experience Advisory Team, or LEAT); Mere Tavai and Magdel Hammond (Mind & Body); Flo Esera (Health Pasifika); Suzie Baird (LEAT); Victor Tino Ono (Workwise), Talosaga Vanilau (Health Pasifika). L-R sitting: Victoria Parsons and Chontelle King (SPP); Caitlin McBride (LEAG), Sapina Petelo (Health Pasifika)