Planning and Funding (Mental Health and Addiction) recognises that community engagement and consultation on health services is a fundamental principle under the New Zealand Health Strategy. People have a right to participate in the decisions that we make. That right needs to be promoted whether those people provide mental health and addiction services, use them, care for those who do, or live in our wider Southern DHB community. It needs to be upheld regardless of geographic location, philosophical viewpoint, or any other potential point of difference.
We genuinely value informed, diverse participation. For the MHAPP project we started by facilitating a sector-wide forum, and set up this website as one tool to keep the sector informed and to support participation and collaboration.
There were two distinct stages of the Mental Health and Addiction Planning Project (MHAPP). The opportunities for involvement differed at each stage.
During the first stage of the process, which lasted until February 2012, we posted regular briefings after Core Planning Group meetings. The Portfolio Manager (Mental Health and Addiction) was available to talk to groups and give formal presentations upon invitation, and attended sector and provider meetings as per normal. A newsletter (MEHA News) sent throughout, and beyond, the sector, also kept people up-to-date.
The second stage of the project - public consultation on the draft plan - occurred from February 17 - April 11 2012. We held public meetings throughout the district, visited every mental health inpatient unit, and held workshops for contracted providers. We encouraged submissions, and attended a number of meetings to raise awareness about the consultation process and how to participate in it. A full report on the consultation process, and the feedback received, is available by clicking here.