CEP Forum

The forum will discuss how services can meet the needs of those experiencing addictions and mental illness

With the Ministry of Health beginning to focus on the needs of the significant proportion of people who experience addiction issues alongside mental illness, regional DHBs have been required to reflect on how their services meet these needs and make plans for improvement.

Mental illness and addictions which occur together for people, referred to as Co-Existing Problems (CEP) in Ministry and DHB documents, are currently largely treated as separate health concerns, creating a situation where service users can find it difficult to have their needs met in a holistic way.

Plans such as the ‘Draft Canterbury Plan for Co-Existing Mental Health and Addictions Problems’ aim to outline how integrated services can be supportive of people with mental health and addictions diagnoses.

In response to this plan, Awareness, Canterbury’s mental health and addictions service user network, will be holding a forum for consumers to share their views on what helpful CEP services could look like, and for service providers to begin discussing how the NGO community sector can make use of CEP resources.

The need for community and peer support services aimed at meeting the needs of people with both mental health and addictions challenges is great. In holding this forum, Awareness hopes to support the process of developing services with consumer views taken into account.

Speakers confirmed for the forum include:
• Fraser Todd, Senior Lecturer at the National Addictions Centre
• Sandy McLean, Planning and Funding, CDHB, involved in developing the CEP plan
• Beth Nobes, Service Delivery Manager, Consumer Advocacy Services at MHAPS
• Angel Tanerau-Love, CEP peer advocate at MHAPS (Mental Health Advocacy and Peer Support)
• Marc Beecroft – Regional Alcohol and other Drugs consumer advisor on the Ministry of Health CEP steering group

The Awareness CEP forum will be held on Tuesday 27th March, 12.45-2.30pm at the Mental Health Education and Resource Centre (MHERC), 403a Worcester Street, Christchurch. Entry is free and open to all interested, including people who have used mental health or addictions services, service staff and mental health or addictions service managers.

Press Release

With issues effecting mental health and addictions service-users in the spotlight as we approach this year’s general election, a consumer organization based in Canterbury has asked local candidates for their parties’ views on key concerns for the mental health and addictions communities. “Proposed policies around education, health and welfare which the parties standing for election are advocating for are all very relevant to consumers and could make an immense difference to our experiences of using services” comments Kelly Pope, a member of the network.

Click here to download complete Press Release

– Late Update – Late Update – Late Update – Late Update –

Liann Dalziel has replied to our questionaire, a little late to be included in the press release, as follows:

1. Where does your party stand on the question of whether the ring-fence in mental health funding should be maintained?
Labour will re-instate the ring-fence for mental health funding. It is important that we not only focus on delivering services to those most in need, but also on preventing future demand through early intervention, support for those with lower acuity illness to be able to self-manage, and a public health approach to maintaining mental wellbeing.

2. Where does your party stand on the reduction and elimination of seclusion?
Labour currently agrees with the Ministry of Health guidelines on seclusion which set out to over time, limit the use of seclusion and restraint on mental health patients. However we would be willing to discuss this issue with Awareness Canterbury and would consider reviewing these guidelines in the future.

3. As health is presently population funded and Canterbury’s population has decreased due to the earthquakes, how would your party ensure mental health and addictions services are able to meet the increased needs of the Canterbury population since the earthquakes?
Providing services for New Zealanders experiencing poor mental health and working to maintain mental wellbeing throughout the population are both of heightened significance at this time. During a period of economic instability coupled with a series of disasters, demand on mental health services inevitably increases. Globally, the incidence of depression and anxiety is increasing.

Labour acknowledges the importance of mental health and will restore it as a health priority for District Health Boards. We will require District Health Boards to set appropriate targets for the restoration and enhancement of mental health services.

4. Where does your party get mental health information and advice from, and would you like to open a discussion with us?
Labour receives mental health information and advice from a diverse group of people in the sector including consumers, health professionals and interest groups. We are always open to discussing issues and would be happy to meet with Awareness Canterbury.