Promoting mental health, demystifying mental illness, countering stigma and discrimination

Introducing the Mental Health Treatment Team

There will be a team of Mental Health and Addiction professionals and support specialists actively involved in the care of your loved one.


Consultant Psychiatrist:

A Psychiatrist is a medically qualified doctor who has specialised in the study and treatment of mental illness.  They will oversee and manage treatment. Most people diagnosed with a mental illness will have contact with a psychiatrist at some stage.  People with a more serious mental illness will have more regular contact.

House Surgeon:

A House Surgeon is a Junior Doctor.  They assist in the day-to-day psychiatric and medical care of users of the service in the inpatient unit.  They spend three months at a time in different branches of the hospital system.

Unit Manager:

The Nurse Manager oversees the clinical standards and practices of the ward, and ensures that protocol and policy is followed.  Standards and policy are aligned to national and Ministry of Health recommendations and guidelines.  The Unit Manager ensures that consistent and quality in-patient services are provided to consumers and their families.  Included in this role is the management of operational services, including securing and best utilisation of resources.  The role involves building relationships with other related service providers, and promoting the clearly defined business of the unit. 

Clinical Nurse Leaders:

Works beside the clinical team to provide co-ordination and leadership in maintaining a safe clinical environment in the inpatient unit. 

Nursing Staff:

These are the Mental Health Professionals that offer a nursing perspective in care. Nursing provides an emphasis on assessment, early intervention, relapse planning, education, monitoring and wellness promotion. Their aim is to provide coordinated care to assist people to gain their maximum health potential.  This involves developing therapeutic relationships with consumer,  family/whanau or significant others.

Social Workers:

Work with individuals, families and groups who have been affected by mental health issues.  Social workers can assist in identifying areas where changes can be made, and to assist in these changes.  They can assist with psycho-social assessment, accommodation, relationships, advocacy, information/education, financial issues.  Employment, education, recreation and referral to other support services.

Occupational Therapist:

This person has the skills to assess people in the areas of self-care, work and recreation.  They will assist in goal setting and in skill building to achieve goals and interests. 

Clinical Psychologist:

Provide assessment and treatment (psychotherapy) for a wide range of psychological difficulties.  They have extensive training in the area of human behaviour and emotion, applying this knowledge to thoughts, feelings and behaviour connected with health or illness. They offer short, long-term, and group treatments for people with mental health problems and work collaboratively with other members of the mental health team as well as the person's Family/Whanau. 


They are able to provide information about medications prescribed and any possible side effects from that medication.

Consumer Advisor:

The Consumer Advisor encourages people who use mental health and addiction services to participate in the planning and delivery of these services provided by the Taranaki District Health Board.  The advisor role does not provide a peer support or consumer advocate service, but can give you information about these services and help you to find the right person for you. The consumer advisor works with people in identifying where improvements to services can be made, and works with staff and management in implementing improvements. People who use mental health and addiction services have the opportunity to regularly voice their opinions about the services they receive and the advisor is available during office hours to any person receiving services, who has questions or would like to provide feedback.

Family/Whanau Advisor:

This person works closely with Family/Whanau and Mental Health staff in ensuring their perspectives are listened to and enacted on wherever service improvements are envisaged. 
Alcohol and Drug Services also have a Family/Whanau advisor who works closely with Addiction Management and staff, bringing a Family/Whanau perspective to the Alcohol and Drug service. The AOD Family/Whanau Advisor also co-ordinates a weekly support and information group for people who have a loved one with addiction issues.

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Taranaki Mental Health Sector