Authors: Rose Kahaki, Julia Carr, John Coleman, NEW ZEALAND
Event: 1999 TheMHS Conference
Subject: book of proceedings, The East Coast Mental Health Service, mAORI, RURAL MENTAL HEALTH, INTEGRATED SERVICES, CONSUMER ADVOCATE, ASSERTIVE COMMUNITY TREATMENT MODEL,
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: The East Coast Mental Health Service shares its simple story of providing a comprehensive rural mental health service to an isolated, predominantly Maori population in New Zealand. The service has grown from a satellite ‘hostel’ of the urban hospital to a community-based service, owned and operated by the people (ie Ngati Porou Hauora). It is becoming unusual in New Zealand for one provider to offer an integrated range of services such as: keyworkers providing 24hr community based care, activity programmes, dual diagnosis support, specialist clinics, adult and youth service, alcohol and drug assessment and counselling, respite care, residential services, crisis support and primary care liaison.
An innovative aspect of the service is the employment of a consumer advocate whose role is to foster staff, consumer, whanau (family) and community collaboration and participation and to ensure the service is grounded in tikanga (culture). Employment of local people (including consumers) and an active approach to community education, early intervention and anti discrimination strategies are also features.
Although the service was “homegrown”, born of a simple desire to meet local needs, the result is a service with many features in common with the Assertive Community Treatment model and best practice internationally. This is reflected in the markedly decreased rates of hospitalisation and improved levels of functioning for clients with chronic illness. The contracting issues for a small rural service in a purchasing environment based on urban models, national prices and competitive fragmented services are briefly discussed.