Putting the psychosocial stamp on policy

A guest post by Carole Adamson, University of Auckland

I’ve just been reflecting about the election and what I know about Jacinda and her new team in the light of my recent visit to Finland. I’ve been having conversations with people about social work’s role in emergency and disaster contexts, being firmly of the belief that the psychosocial response to disasters is what carries people into recovery and wellbeing, and that social work in our country is often under-represented in planning for and responding to disasters.

What I liked about the emergency and social services response in Finland, and what ties it in to the small glow of hope that I have in relation to the change of government in Aotearoa, is that a psychosocial perspective is honoured not only in practice but in policy and legislation.

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Social experiments not the solution for mental health care

This guest blog post is by Mark Henrickson, Shirley Jülich and Ksenija Napan all of whom teach and research in the School of Social Work at Massey University in Auckland.

Over Queen’s Birthday Weekend, the New Zealand public was quietly exposed to the concept of ‘social bonds’. According to the Ministry of Health, social bonds seek private and not-for-profit organisations to partner in order to fund and deliver services to improve social outcomes. If they achieve agreed results, Government will pay the investors back their investment plus a return. According to the Ministry website, this concept has been floating around New Zealand since 2013. The fact that it was announced while we were enjoying our last holiday before Labour Weekend suggests that social bonds is not a flagship programme for this government. We have not seen the full plan. But we are deeply concerned by what we have heard so far.

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