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Mental Health and Addiction Nurse’s conference: Surfing the Wave

Mental Health and Addiction organising committee

The organising committee in this photo include registered nurses L-R: Alice Te Are, Roberta Clunie, Rachel Cotter, Sarah Haldane, and Amanda Shanley.

Balance is critical to surfing, as is the ability to navigate the surf and move in the right direction.

Nurses in a range of settings are currently surfing the waves that evolve from providing specialist care for people who experience mental health and addiction problems. Their ability to surf these waves requires nurses to have the right knowledge, skills and attitudes to support the people they serve.


Two of the conference organiser’s Amanda Shanley and Denny McNae

For this reason the theme Surfing the Waves was chosen for the fifth International Conference of Te Ao Māramatanga – New Zealand College of Mental Health Nurses.

Over 200 nurses from a range of DHBs, NGOs, and PHOs gathered in Hamilton on 10-11 October, Distinction Hotel and Conference centre, to look at new and innovative ways of working in the sector, and identify areas where further change is needed.

There were over 20 sessions and skill based workshops available to attendees, with key note speakers: Dr Frances Hughes, Fellow of Te Ao Māramatanga; Dr Daryle Deering, senior lecturer National Addiction Centre, University of Otago and Christchurch; Fuimaono Karl Pulotu-Endemann, Pacific Health consultant; Gemma Griffin-Dzikiewicz, consultant; and Caroline Milne, national contributer in ensuring high quality mental health services are available to all whānau.

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