He kai i nga Rangatira: He Korero o nga whānau Whaiora

by Maria Baker


People with lived experience of mental health challenges and receiving mental health services attended a one day hui in Auckland to share their thoughts of being under the mental health act and of acute mental health care. The hui encouraged shared discussions with key reflections, aspirations and insights.

The core themes identified by the participants of being under the mental health act, included not understanding the compulsory assessment and treatment process, and experiencing the converse to mental health professional advice on what was going to occur under the act. Some viewed the act as a bargaining tool to get out of the mental health unit quicker, others viewed the act as providing a false sense of security for access to medication with significant implications to livelihoods after being in acute care, with examples of overt discrimination. Lastly, the struggle to being released from the mental health act.

The core themes identified of acute mental health unit care included the recognition that admissions to mental health units usually occurred under the mental health act, also that acute care was provided in locked up and fenced in properties. The determination and motivation of treatment provided in units was mental health professional led. That the demand on acute beds nationally is in crisis with issues concerning the lack of an acute model of care which is contributing to early discharges of people, their placement in other areas because they continue to need support. Two overwhelming issues for participants was the lack of choice for acute mental health care, and the processes conducted with seeking consumer input into the build of new units where there is little will to change to consumer and whānau centred processes.

Participants identified three solutions to improve the effectiveness of mental health services to Māori, these included more Māori strategies to overcome challenges, with better access to Māori cultural approaches, and meaningful activities and programmes to foster connections to being Māori. A stronger Māori consumer voice and a centralised data base system, with recommendations for further action.

Publication Details

ISBNISBN: 978-1-98-850141-3 (Electronic)ISBN: 978-1-98-850142-0 (Print)
CITATIONCitation: Baker, M (2015). He kai i nga Rangatira He korero o nga whānau whaiora. Wellington: Te Rau Matatini Ltd