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A consistent theme of our recent Addiction Leadership Day was how do we ensure that evidence and the outcomes of systemic reviews are integrated into routine practice and service delivery?
This theme emerged firstly in a presentation from Ian Lambie who, in his role as Chief Science Advisor for the justice sector, developed the following discussion papers for the Ministry of Justice on preventing youth offending:
Ian identified that the New Zealand prison population is growing at a faster rate than the crime rate, despite good evidence that incarceration does little to prevent future offending, and in fact serves as a training ground for young offenders.
What will we do to put the evidence into action?
Evidence has repeatedly identified that early intervention and prevention, especially with young people, is the best way to reduce crime rates. Ian put forward these evidence-based approaches to reduce offending and imprisonment:
Ian's call to action was, what will we do to put the evidence into action to ensure his report does not sit on a shelf gathering dust until the next review?
Following Ian’s summary of his report, the mental health and addiction inquiry panel shared some of their preliminary observations about the common themes emerging from hui around the country.
At the hui the panel has heard calls for:
The inquiry will be reporting to the Minister of Health in October.
Read the National Committee for Addiction Treatment (NCAT) submission to the Government inquiry into mental health and addiction. This submission was developed following the March Addiction Leadership Day.
Chief Executive of Te Pou o te Whakaaro Nui, Robyn Shearer presented about internal changes to the structure of Te Pou o te Whakaaro Nui and what this has meant for the ongoing work of Matua Raḵi.
Robyn also provided insights from the recent IIMHL leadership exchange in Sweden.
Awareness of how to use the lessons from implementation science and active committed leadership is required to ensure evidence is translated into system and practice change. How the sector embraces these approaches will determine if Ian’s report and the Inquiry recommendations are to make a difference to the wellbeing of tāngata whai ora.