Mental Health & Addiction Update - 2 March 2020

on 3 March

Mental Health & Addiction Update

Kia Ora,

Robyn Shearer - DDG Mental Health & Addiction

I know that you will all have COVID-19 at the forefronts of your minds.  The Ministry of Health is providing regular updates on this emerging situation.  Please check the Ministry of Health website for the latest information.

As we form our new team, we’re working to improve the way we engage with Specialist Services at a district level so we have a good understanding of what’s working well, and where the challenges are.  This will mean we’re able to share the highlights and learnings and be able to provide practical help and advice.   

One of the new members of the Mental Health and Addiction Senior Leadership team is Toni Gutschlag who has joined us as Group Manager, Specialist Mental Health Services. Toni was previously the General Manager of Specialist Mental Health Services in Canterbury DHB and has worked in a range of areas including planning and funding and projects, she commenced her career as a social worker.

Toni, John Crawshaw, Director Mental Health, Arran Culver, Chief Clinical Advisor, and Toni Dal Din, Deputy Director Mental Health were recently in Hawkes Bay to meet with a number of people from across the DHB including the CEO, members of the executive team and a number of clinical leaders.

Mental Health & Addiction Update - 2 March 2020


Two weeks ago our team visited the MidCentral DHB and involved NGO specialist services including peer support, iwi providers, community mental health and addiction providers and primary care.

The different approach that was taken in this sector visit allowed for a range of views to be shared about concerns, highlights and opportunities. 

Our team will continue to come and visit DHB teams and is really enjoying the opportunity to listen to feedback and problem solve in person.  Thank you to Hawkes Bay and MidCentral for hosting these recent visits.

We look forward to hearing more from other regions over the coming months.

Just a reminder that the Youth RFP closes at midday on Monday, 9 March. Proposals are very welcome from NGOS, PHOs, DHBs, companies and any other legal entities.  If you are proposing to expand an existing service and/or replicate a service then we do request a letter of support from your DHB (if this is possible within the timeframe – the Ministry reserves the right to seek this during the due diligence process if your Proposal is shortlisted). Otherwise you do not need to submit your proposal via your DHB. There is more information available on GETS. 

Ngā mihi nui,
Robyn Shearer
Deputy Director-General, Mental Health & Addiction.

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