Online directory improves access to mental health and addiction services

Online directory improves access to mental health and addiction services

A new national online directory is improving access to mental health and addiction services for those seeking help.

The Healthpoint Mental Health and Addictions directory is an online platform for consumers and professionals to more easily navigate, understand and use mental health and addiction services in their community.

The directory allows people to search by location, service delivery, age and referral types, to identify the most relevant services for their needs.

Dr Siale Foliaki is the Clinical Lead for Crisis Services at Homecare Medical – which include the Depression, Gambling, and Alcohol Drug Helplines, the Early Mental Health Response Service (for people who call 111 in psychological or social distress), and the Need to talk? 1737 service that people can call or text to get support from a trained counsellor.

He says the Homecare Medical mental health and addictions teams use the new online directory, which is vitally important to be able to direct people to local face-to-face services and give up-to-date information.

“The Healthpoint directory has great coverage so it’s a really reliable source of information for people to go to. The service it provides is vital to the potential wellbeing of communities,” says Dr Foliaki.

Healthpoint mental health and addictions website content editor Rhonda Dames says the directory will have a “significant impact”, as the complex world of mental health can be difficult for people to navigate. Those needing help are often unaware of the supports available and how to access them.

Dames is working with district health boards around the country to engage with every local service to develop personalised and trustworthy content on their profile. A regular review process ensures the information stays up-to-date.

Nationally, more than 90% of around 600 mental health and addiction services are live on the directory and 70% have worked directly with Healthpoint to ensure their information is current and complete.

The first region to have all local services live and approved is the MidCentral mental health and addictions sector.  Claudine Nepia-Tule, portfolio manager, Mental Health & Addictions, MidCentral DHB, says the directory will make a real difference for people trying to access mental health and addiction services.

“We are committed to improving access for people in social or psychological distress and this initiative is in the right direction to improve better awareness of health services,” she says.

 

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