Mental health, addiction survey shows cultural gaps

New data from those working in mental health and addictions services has found that more needs to be done on cultural appropriateness for Māori tāngata whaiora.  The findings have been released in the Ngā Poutama Ōranga Hinengaro report, which was coordinated by the Health Quality & Safety Commission.

More than 2,500 people who work in mental health and addiction services have taken part in a survey that shows what is needed for future programmes.

Māori advisor Wi Keelan says, “There are a lot of challenges that we face regarding the quality of Māori services, from when the client comes in till the time he leaves.” 

The survey found that 77% of workers feel that their clients are respected and 62% believe their needs, values and beliefs are included. 

However only 26% felt that District Health Boards and non-government groups coordinated care well.

“Changes can be made if we work alongside each other, sharing our values and beliefs,” says Keelan.

The survey also found that the use of te reo Māori in services is low, as is the use of the Māori cultural practices of mihi and whakawhanaungatanga.

“Raising the awareness on Māori issues among the workers and those in this sector is key,” says Keelan.

The information gathered in the survey will now be used to improve the quality of care that people receive when accessing mental health and addiction services.