S78: Filling The Gap – A co-produced Peer/Clinician venture into the Youth addiction space.

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By September 18, 2019 No Comments

Authors: Supriya Maharaj, Simon Hughes

Year: 2019

Event: 2019 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Filling The Gap - A co-produced Peer/Clinician venture into the Youth addiction space.

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers



Simon Hughes is a District Manager for Emerge Aotearoa mobile community based services. Simon was also involved in the development of EaseUp from an operational perspective. Originally from the UK, Simon has qualifications in social work and has worked in health service delivery and management for over a decade.

Supriya Maharaj is a Service Manager, formerly leading the Phoenix Centre which EaseUp drew inspiration from. Supriya was involved in development from concept testing through to inception. With over a decade of experience in addiction, health and social services settings, Supriya has qualifications in public health, addiction treatment and clinical supervision.

Emerge Aotearoa’s vision is Realising Potential “tautokohia te mana tangata”- we are an organisation that seeks to build deep wellbeing and resilience in vulnerable communities. Our Board of Trustees identified a gap for rangatahi (young people) with alcohol and drug challenges and decided to invest in a two-year pilot.

Applying learning from the successful Phoenix addiction service for adults in South Auckland, New Zealand, Emerge Aotearoa set about exploring how the model could be adapted for rangatahi. Drawing inspiration from co-production, and collaborating with various stakeholders led to the establishment of EaseUp.

EaseUp offers an assertive outreach, community based, peer/clinical addiction service for rangatahi aged 13-20 years, and their whānau. The service endeavours to explore and co-construct recovery in holistic and developmentally appropriate ways, incorporating harm reduction and abstinence approaches. Ultimately, EaseUp is about providing rangatahi and their whānau with skills and resources to enable them to live their best life and make positive choices.

As the pilot is self-funded, Emerge Aotearoa has the creative freedom to see how the programme evolves, with curiosity and innovation actively encouraged.

Learning Objectives
Learning Objective 1: This topic is relevant as the service model demonstrates how to put lived experience in the centre of service development and delivery, and balancing interventions with supporting self efficacy.
Learning Objective 2: Following this presentation, the audience will take away an example of a community based peer/clinical partnership which provides a holistic matrix of services. A reflection on the process of the service development will also be incorporated. This example can be applied or adapted in other settings as appropriate.

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