Authors: Matthew Tukaki
Event: 2023 TheMHS Forum
Subject: Building back better: The future of the suicide prevention and postvention workforce
Type of resource: Video
Abstract: The pressure on New Zealand and Australias clinical and non-clinical workforce when it comes to Suicide Prevention, postvention, mental health and addictions will continue to be a challenge in the decades ahead if we dont take a new approach to meet the demand that is already here. That demand on the workforce has been compounded as a result of the Pandemic that has, in New Zealand, seen three things occur: 1. the pandemic has led to our tertiary institutions being closed for large parts of the last several years – this has affected supply of new graduates into the market 2. New Zealand’s borders being closed has restricted the ability for skilled migrants to fill much needed clinical roles 3. while these two factors have been occurring, attrition with the clinical workforce has still been occurring leading to ongoing exits due to retirement and those who have decided to change roles In all reality the situation will not change for some years to come as the tail end of the pandemic begins to taper off. Meanwhile, the non-clinical workforce has been steadily building across a multitude of different roles in various sectors. One could define the non-clinical workforce in suicide prevention and mental health as peer support workers, suicide prevention and postvention co-ordinators, mentors, whanau ora navigators, community development workers and so on who deal mainly with those who require a non-clinical response. This presentation explores the tension between the clinical and non-clinical workforce and looks to the future in a new workforce development plan that builds capability and capacity around the new world of micro-credentials, what does the shape and future of the workforce look like and how can we get consistency in professional development and training. In addition, instead of competing for resources how can Australia and New Zealand work together on a shared workforce model?