Whanganui DHBFriday 12 October 2012, 4:41PM
Media release from Whanganui DHB
Whanganui is being hailed a success story for the way in which the
district's medical and social services are working collaboratively
to support young people experiencing mental illness. WDHB Child
& Adolescent Mental Health Service clinical manager Sean
Moloney says Whanganui has been singled out as a leader in the
Gateway programme - a cross-sector, collaborative exploration of
the needs of children in the care of Child, Youth and Family.
"Ministry of Social Development staff responsible for monitoring
Gateway around the country say our medical and social services are
doing a wonderful job sharing information, working together and
creating a seamless approach to meeting the needs of our young,
vulnerable people and their whanau," Mr Moloney says.
"The recent move to co-locate the WDHB's Child, Adolescent and
Mental Health Service with Child and Women's Health has encouraged
the two services to share information and work together to provide
the best possible care for the overall health needs of our young
Mr Moloney says the Ministry of Health's much publicised
expectation that agencies involved in supporting young people's
health needs have to 'talk to each other', is spot on. He says
given that it's widely accepted that mental health and general
wellbeing go hand-in-hand, government services have a
responsibility to work together.
"I'm very supportive of the Ministry's Rising to the
Challenge, Mental Health and Addiction Service Development Plan
2012 - 2017 (currently out for consultation) which I believe will
give us a strong strategic direction for enhancing the mental
health of all New Zealanders over the next five years."
"The Rising to the Challenge plan is informed by the Mental Health
Commission's Blueprint II document which acknowledges that everyday
factors such as a person's income, housing, engagement in
education, and ability to find work impact on the mental health and
general wellbeing of themselves and their family. It makes sense
that when someone is mentally unwell, we consider these factors as
parts of a much broader picture," Mr Moloney says.
"For our young people in the Gateway programme who are facing
multiple health and social challenges it's absolutely vital that
every agency working with them pulls together to get the best
outcome. We know that the first three years of a child's life can
determine how they will develop as an adult so if a child's first
three years are 'chaotic', they and their parents are more likely
to need multi-agency support.
"This might involve ensuring that the child remains engaged with
education, helping the family with their housing needs, helping
parents find employment or helping parents deal with their drug and
alcohol problems. We can't address the major issues of poverty and
child abuse unless we take a multi-agency approach.
"Making sure young, vulnerable people attend school is a big issue
for us in Whanganui. Disengaging with school and education can
leave children and teenagers susceptible to making wrong lifestyle
choices which in turn can lead to mental health issues later in
Mr Moloney says he knows Whanganui agencies are helping to improve
the lives of many young people and he's particularly proud that
Whanganui's Gateway programme has been singled out as a leader in
this effort. "If Whanganui can do this successfully then so too can
the rest of the country," he says.