An innovation in primary mental health services: The MidValley Well-being Service

Margaret Pack


In 2004-5 a new primary health organisation (PHO) project was established that aimed to improve access to equitable health care for the residents of three suburban areas of Lower Hutt, Wellington serviced by three medical practices. After an early successful funding tender in the Ministry of Health, PHO funding round, the MidValley PHO Charitable Trust was formed and from there the MidValley Well-being Service was established and developed in 2005-7. Through positive feedback from Ministry of Health at the two-year evaluation, the service was funded for a third year and at the time of writing continues to grow and expand. This article is a reflection of ‘lessons learned’ in establishing a new PHO initiative in the community mental health services which is seen as accurately attuning and responding to the needs of the local resident population. The author describes the ways in which social work’s traditional concerns of social justice, Treaty of Waitangi principles of partnership, protection, self determination and participation, and a holistic approach to health care can assist in the envisioning of new service development under PHO initiatives.


mental health; community mental health; primary health organisation;

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