Future Directions - Southland Mental Health Network

Future Directions - Southland Mental Health Network

The Southland Mental Health Network - named 'Future Directions' - is a representative group of Mental Health Service Users, Families, Providers and Stakeholders in Southland.


The Network is designed to deliver better services, by providers, for mental health consumers and their families. It does this by:


Including Everyone:

The network has members from all of the major groups working in mental health including consumers and families. 

Sharing Ideas:

The network provides an opportunity to share information and discuss ideas and concerns open and honestly. 

Taking Action:

The network develops and runs projects on behalf of all providers, consumers and their families. 

Providing Feedback:

Members of the network take ideas and information back to their own organisations and give feedback and advice to SouthernDHB. 

 "The Network enables us to work together on issues that concern us all - no single group can do all the work alone."


Key Functions of the Network:

  • Provide advice and direction to Southern DHB's Planning and Funding arm
  • Identify weaknesses, strengths and opportunities in the sector
  • Provide a co-ordination point for activity and capacity building to further develop the sector
  • Share information and improve communication
  • Raise the profile of mental health in the wider community
  • Continue to further improve and develop the efficiency and effectiveness of the network


Network Representation Group:

In Southland there are 8 sectors that represent service providers, consumers and families:  Primary Health, Southern DHB Provider Arm, Consumers, Non Government Organisations (NGOs), Families, Pacific Island Providers, Maori Providers and Intersectoral (eg Police, WINZ).  

Each sector has representatives sitting on the central group called the Network Representative Group, or NRG. The NRG meet every month to discuss local mental health issues, develop and run projects and to get updates on projects already running.


Open Forum:

Three times a year an "Open Forum" is held. Mental health providers, stakeholders, consumers and families attend these Forums and anyone from the public can also attend. They offer the chance to receive updates on what's going on in the Mental Health sector and to have an open discussion about issues that those present are interested in discussing.

Future Directions Website http://www.futuredirections.org.nz/

The Southland Mental Health Network 'Future Directions' website provides a central portal for Southland mental health news, resources, service information, training opportunities and situations vacant. The website also provides updates on the Network's activity, progress and upcoming meetings and open forums that members of the public are welcome to attend.   

Contact Details:

If you would like more information about the Southland Mental Health Network, or mental health services in Southland you can contact:

Richard Harris, Network Coordinator
SouthernDHB Mental Health Services
PO Box 828

Tel: +64 3 214 5786 (ext 8079)
Freephone: 0800 44 33 66
Fax: +64 3 218 1059
Email: richard.harris@southerndhb.govt.nz