The Future Directions Network

Southland Catchment Profile

Mental Health and Addiction Services in Southland

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Southern Support Works

Welcome to the Support Workers page on the Future Directions Website. Support Workers make up a vital part of the workforce in the Mental Health and Addictions Sector in the Southern District. One of the reasons for creating this page is to provide Support Workers with a common place to go for information and updates that may affect them or the organisations they work for.

This new resource builds on the excellent progress already being made by the sector in the Southern District during the last 5-6 years. This includes the completion of three successful Southern Support Worker one-day conferences held in Invercargill (2011 & 2012) and Dunedin (2014).

The purpose of this web page for Support Workers is to provide:

  • A venue to provide local and national information and updates that may affect the Support Worker workforce
  • Information regarding education, training and workforce development opportunities
  • Updates and changes to the qualifications structure for Support Workers and/or any new qualifications
  • Up-to-date contact details

A PhD thesis on the contribution of the mental health support worker to the mental health services in New Zealand provides useful further information.

Latest News

The fourth Southern Support Works Conference was held in Invercargill on Thursday 10 March 2016.

Midcentral DHB have developed a workforce development plan titled 'Connected Workforce' which is a strategic work plan for community organisations (NGOs) providing primary mental health and addiction services in their district for 2013-2017. 'Connected Workforce' includes in it work plans that will affect the role of practitioners working in the NGO sector including Support Workers.


Te Pou works to support and develop the mental health, addiction and disability workforces in New Zealand. Te Pou incorporates Disability Workforce Development and Matua Raki. Click here to go to their website.

Platform Trust supports a network of organisations that believe a modern mental health system requires strong community-based supports for people with mental illness and addictions. It encourages sector collaboration and provides a contact point for nationwide feedback on issues relating to mental health and addiction non government organisations (NGOs). Click here to go to their website.

The Addiction Practitioners' Association, Aotearoa-New Zealand is a society incorporated in 2003 to represent the professional interests of its members: the practitioners working in addiction treatment. Click here to go to their website.

The Mental Health Services Conference Inc (TheMHS) is an international learning network for improving mental health services in Australia and New Zealand. TheMHS Annual Conference is an international mental health educational forum, attracting over 1000 mental health clinicians, managers, consumers, carers, researchers, educators and policy makers, every year. Click here to go to their website.