Made it back to Chicago after a week in New Zealand providing training and consultation. As I blogged about last Thursday, the last two days of my trip were spent in Christchurch providing a two-day training on “What Works” for Te Pou–New Zealand’s National Centre of Mental Health Research, Information, and Workforce Development. Last year around this same time, I provided a similar training for Te Pou for managers and policy makers in Auckland. News spread and this year my contact at Te Pou, Emma Wood brought the training to the south island. It is such a pleasure to be involved with such a forward thinking organization.
Long before I arrived, leadership at Te Pou were promoting outcome measurement and feedback. Here’s a direct quote from their website:
Outcomes information can assist:
- service users to use their own outcomes data to reflect on their wellbeing and circumstances, talk to clinicians about their support needs and inform their recovery plans
- clinicians to use outcomes information to support their decision-making in day-to-day practice, monitoring change, better understanding the needs of the service user, and also to begin evaluating the effectiveness of different interventions
- planners and funders to assess population needs for mental health services and assist with allocation of resources policy and mental health strategy developments through nationally aggregated data.
Indeed, using outcome to inform mental health service delivery is a key aspect of the Past, Present, and Future: Vision Paper–a review of “what works” in care and a plan for improving treatment in the future. The site even publishes a quarterly newsletter Outcomes Matter. Take a few minutes and explore the Te Pou website. While you are there, be sure and download the pamphlet entitled, “A Guide to Talking Therapies.” As the title implies, this brief, easy-to-read text provides a non-nonsense guide to the various “talk therapies” for consumers (I took several copies home with me from the workshop).
Before ending, let me say a brief hello to the Clinical Practice Leaders from the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand who attended the two-day training in Christchurch. The dedicated staff use an integrated public health and clinical model and are working to implement ongoing measurement of outcome and consumer feedback into service delivery. The website contains a free online library including fact sheets, research, and books on the issue of problem gambling that is an incredible resource to professionals and the public. Following the workshop, the group sent a photo that was taken of us together. From left to right, they are Wenli Zhang, me, Margaret Sloan, and Jude West.