Published Monday 6 Jul 2020

The Mental Health, Addictions and Intellectual Disability Service (MHAIDS) has launched a GP Liaison service to provide specialist mental health and addictions advice to general practices across the Hutt Valley, Wairarapa, and Wellington regions.

From today, General Practitioners and Nurse Practitioners will be able to contact the GP Liaison Consultant Psychiatrist for phone consultations, join virtual consultations via zoom, and access monthly virtual education sessions.

The new service supports the Government’s Access and Choice Mental Health initiative and aligns with the recommendations of He Ara Oranga—to expand access and choice, and enhance wellbeing, promotion and prevention.

“The GP Liaison service is an important component of ensuring that primary care has access to early specialised mental health and addictions advice,” said MHAIDS general manager Nigel Fairley.

“The service strengthens the ability to initiate treatment for people in the community before their condition worsens or becomes acute.”

It is recognised internationally that the needs of those with mild to moderate mental health and addictions problems are best met in the primary care setting. Early specialised support strengthens the overall continuum of care and supports a collaborative whole-of-sector approach to improving outcomes for our people.

Primary health organisations across the greater Wellington region welcome the additional support and service.

“Mental health work is a large part of primary care and we are very pleased to welcome this new role,” says Tu Ora Compass mental health medical director Dr Louise Poynton.

“Our general practices will now be able to rapidly access specialist advice, which will have a significant positive impact on the care we deliver to our patients.”

“General practices in the Hutt Valley have been calling for this kind of service for some time, so it is wonderful that MHAIDS has enabled this position to be put in place,” said Te Awakairangi chief executive Bridget Allan.

“We are looking forward to working closely with the MHAIDS teams on other service improvements for our tangata whaiora.”

Media contact: Mel McCool – 027 621 8302