NZ’s Mental Health & Addictions Directory

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New Zealand’s national Mental Health & Addictions Directory

In late 2016, Healthpoint partnered with Homecare Medical to develop a new mental health and addictions directory to support staff on the national telehealth service lines, including Depression Line, Gambling Line, Alcohol Drug Helpline, Quitline, 1737, Need to Talk? and the Early Mental Health Response service (supporting people who call 111 in psychological or social distress).

Through extensive co-design processes, a new directory architecture was built that captured the complexity of the mental health sector, with navigation tools that would support Homecare Medical helpline staff to better advise and triage callers to the best service for their needs.

Prior to 2017, Healthpoint began the process of populating the new national mental health and addictions directory. The first stage involved migrating all services from the Alcohol Drug Helpline directory into Healthpoint, originally including only basic service information; service name, location and contact details.

Approximately 100 mental health and addiction services in the Counties Manukau Health region were then engaged with to create their own comprehensive service profiles, using the new directory architecture. This pilot was successfully launched in the Counties Manukau Health region in April 2017.

Following the success of this pilot, Healthpoint began national engagement with DHB mental health senior leadership across New Zealand to further understand the mental health and addiction service landscape and delivery in each region.

Healthpoint engagement continued at the service level, working with each organisation directly to create comprehensive service information about who they are and what they do, down to programme level.

Healthpoint developing a new mental health and addictions directory

Development within 18 months

18 months after the pilot, Healthpoint’s mental health and addictions directory was operating nationwide, featured 589 services and receiving over 40,000 page views per month. Each service had an active administrator and quality systems in place ensuring that service information was updated or approved every four months.

At the end of October 2018, 82% of all mental health and addiction services on Healthpoint had updated or approved their service information within the last four months.

Within 18 months, Healthpoint’s national mental health and addictions directory was a comprehensive, dynamic and future-proof resource with systems and oversight ensuring trustworthy and accurate information.

Directory co-design

In late 2016 to early 2017, Healthpoint worked closely with Homecare Medical and Counties Manukau Health to design and develop a comprehensive, highly navigable mental health and addictions directory.

The co-design process involved Dr Lyndy Matthews – Clinical Lead at Homecare Medical, mental health and addictions call centre staff at Homecare Medical and the Clinical Director of Counties Manukau localities for mental health and addictions. Additional consultation was also carried out with provider arm mental health and addiction services and mental health nurse contractors.

This consultation process led to the development of a user-centric directory architecture. Directory navigation was designed that would allow users to search the directory in a number of ways including by location, programme type, age and referral methods accepted. These search navigations would return a list of services and the relevant programmes they offered matching the combination of search options used.

Service information and navigation at the programme level was essential in order to capture the complexity of mental health and addiction service delivery, as some organisations may offer ten or more programmes, all with different referral and eligibility criteria.

National engagement

Following a successful pilot of the new directory architecture in Counties Manukau, Healthpoint expanded the directory to feature all mental health and addiction services nationwide, both NGO and DHB provider arm services.

Healthpoint engaged with mental health senior leadership at each DHB across New Zealand to understand the mental health and addiction service landscape and delivery in each region. Working with each DHB enabled Healthpoint to create another working list of services and contacts to cross reference and expand the database.

Service engagement

All mental health and addiction services featured on Healthpoint’s directory were engaged with directly to create comprehensive service profiles. Healthpoint worked with every mental health and addiction service to achieve this.

Service engagement would often involve conversations with multiple parties within an organisation including senior management, marketing and communications staff, clinical practitioners, team leaders and administrators. A tailored approach to profiling each service was essential to capture the complex nature of the mental health and addiction sector. The directory features services ranging from large national organisations to small rural drop-in centres, each with different referral processes, eligibility criteria and service delivery. Healthpoint has worked with each to ensure these aspects are represented in the best possible way to facilitate user understanding and access.

The engagement process also acted as an audit and quality method. Some services were identified as no longer operating or no longer holding mental health contracts and were removed from the directory. Others were identified as needing to be combined or separated due to service delivery or contractual factors.

Quality assurance

During service engagement, each service is given editing access to their service profile, enabling them to make changes to their content at any time.

Healthpoint supports services to keep their information up-to-date through a quality assurance process. Services are prompted to review their Healthpoint profile on a four-monthly cycle and approve or update their information.

This quality system ensures that the Healthpoint mental health and addictions directory remains accurate and up-to-date and can be trusted by Homecare Medical staff and public users.

Further directory enhancements

Since launching the national mental health and addictions directory, Healthpoint has continued to develop functionality to support Homecare Medical staff using the directory and to improve the experience of all users.

Homecare Medical now has a tailor-made homepage, accessible to those logged in via a Homecare Medical IP address. This homepage holds links to the most common search combinations on the mental health and addictions directory, enabling quicker, easier navigation around the directory.

In November 2018, Healthpoint improved the way services are displayed on search and refine pages. Users can now see a short one-line summary of each service on all search and refine pages and a phone number, if it is a service they can self-refer to. Services also show their operating hours and users can refine their search results to services ‘Open now.’

Healthpoint also continues to identify and engage with new services for inclusion in the directory.

Stakeholder feedback

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.

Dr Siale Foliaki
Clinical Lead for Crisis Services at Homecare Medical

Healthpoint offers a comprehensive list that is maintained with up-to-date information, so that’s a massive help to us. It will have a significant impact by improving awareness of services, both locally and nationwide, and people’s understanding of how to access them.

John MacDonald
Chair of Alliance South, Mental Health and Addictions Network

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.

Claudine Nepia-Tule
Portfolio Manager, Mental Health & Addictions at MidCentral DHB