SteveMore on our whanau support kaupapa!!

Those of you who read my article last quarter might remember that I had just completed training, learning how to facilitate Single Session Whānau Consultations… I thought that I would update you on where we are at with that mahi, which has dominated my head and desk-space phenomenally through this last quarter…

It all starts with "Supporting Parents Healthy Children (SPHC: MOH 2105)", in which the Ministry of Health have outlined clear expectations for Mental Health and Addiction services in Aotearoa - New Zealand. The guidance aims to ensure that children of whaiora are supported when their parents/caregivers and other whānau come into contact with services. The intention is that services are provided from a whānau inclusive perspective.

"Moving towards more inclusive and effective interventions - organisations and practitioners can be expected to provide services that consider whaiora, family, children, and significant others... In essence, we should think of Whānau as our smallest unit…”

To support the move towards whānau-centred services, the Midlands Region Mental Health & Addictions Network is working to implement the Single Session Family Consultation (SSFC) Model in the region. SSFC is a framework that engages whānau and aims to support involvement in the treatment of whaiora and assist whānau to work holistically with their needs.  A full description of SSFC can be found here. We will be training practitioners to run the model in a series of workshops between July and November 2018.

The workshops will teach participants how to conduct the sessions . The focus is on engaging with and attending to the needs of whānau members, where the primary client is usually an individual (e.g. in the care of Alcohol, other Drug (AOD) and/or Mental Health services).

The workshops will assist participants to facilitate meetings with whānau that can work with that whānau’s specific needs. They also give attention to negotiating with the service-user about how whānau consultation will occur, to avoid jeopardizing the relationship between the client and the practitioner. Participants get to practice these skills in a safe and supportive learning environment, with coaching from other trainers with experience in both the AOD and Mental Health sectors.

Of course, there is WAY more to this exciting project! Our ultimate aim is to establish Whānau Support Hubs in each DHB in the region. The hubs will support practitioners who are working with whānau. The support will include training, supervision, advice and guidance and a general bringing together of those practitioners to become autonomous whānau networks. Look out too for further training around a more in depth model called Five Step Family Method – something more akin to Family Therapy. It is an exciting project to be a part of!

Naku noa, na

Steve Neale
Workforce Planning Lead