The Tāmaki Wellbeing initiative is turning new corners this year. We are building a closer working relationship with the Tāmaki Response and look forward to joint projects and work programmes.
Awhi Ora – Walk alongside support is an example of what Tāmaki Wellbeing has produced. Born in Tāmaki, the service involves a network of non-government organisations (NGOs) that are linked to doctors and social service providers to walk alongside people who need a bit of help to reach their goals and stop an accumulation of issues becoming overwhelming.
With some of the Tāmaki community, we designed what a walking alongside support should feel like, we then tried it with some local GPs and NGOs before checking it could work at a bigger scale with a number of GP practices across Auckland District Health Board. We are getting to the point where this support can be accessed through over 40 practices across Auckland and Waitemata District Health Board and, as a service Awhi Ora - Walk alongside support, no longer needs input from our project team.
We have had some proud moments along the way: the Auckland District Health Board Health Excellence Awards in 2017, being commissioned to create more primary mental health interventions by the Ministry of Health under the Fit for the Future project. A subsequent independent evaluation confirmed that the service is not only working but also improves access by groups that the health system is not very good at engaging with. The proudest moment though was to have the ‘Awhi Ora’ name formally gifted to us by a member of
the Tāmaki community – thank you!
So what will we be doing in the next few months? As a health system, we are continuing to build on what we have done with the Tāmaki communities to work on diabetes in Tāmaki and other parts of Auckland; and to create supports that will work for people who are homeless in central Auckland.
Over our tenure in Tāmaki, we have also learnt that health systems can’t provide all the support people need on their own: in order to make a difference to people’s lives, we need to look elsewhere. This is what we are gearing up to do in Tāmaki, to work with other agencies as part of the Tāmaki Response so we, alongside the community, can create ways to improve how we support children in their early years and through schools or families who are struggling on a daily basis.