Corrections has welcomed three new clinical managers mental health at three of our prisons.
Martin Quinn (Rimutaka), Victoria Weedon (Mt Eden) and May Pritchard (Spring Hill) started in the newly created roles recently. They’re now getting to know their sites, working closely alongside health and custodial staff to understand the mental health needs of the people at those prisons.
Once they’ve assessed the need, Martin, Victoria and May will recruit multi-disciplinary mental health teams, with psychologists, mental health nurses, Māori mental health practitioners and other roles (such as occupational therapists and social workers) as required. The managers will also be looking for custodial officers to join their new teams.
National Director Mental Health and Addiction Services Emma Gardner says she’s delighted by the high calibre of all three new clinical managers, and is looking forward to them getting their teams in place.
“Existing staff at the three prisons have done a great job supporting people with mental health issues, but the need isn’t going away. The new teams will enable sites to lift the level of support for people with moderate to high mental health needs,” she says.
The new teams will support the ‘humanising and healing’ pou of Hōkai Rangi. They’ll also be including options and approaches which validate mātauranga and rongoā as central to the holistic wellbeing of Māori.
The three new teams will bring the total number of multi-disciplinary mental health teams nationwide up to six. The first three teams – at Auckland Prison, Auckland Region Women’s Corrections Facility and Christchurch Men’s – have now been in place for nearly two years.
In addition, recruitment is underway to employ eight new clinical nurse specialists (mental health) to our other prisons.
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