New mental health and addictions counselling course

Published date : Mon, 11 October 2021 09:30 AM

New mental health and addictions counselling course to develop the kaupapa Māori mental health workforce

A new postgraduate programme at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi (Awanuiārangi) aims to equip students with the key kaupapa Māori skills required to effectively work within mental health and addictions.

Endorsed by the Drug and Alcohol Practitioners’ Association Aotearoa (DAPAANZ), the Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Mental Health and Addictions Counselling (Level 8)/Pourewa Oranga Hinengaro is a nine-month programme that has been specifically designed to support the development of the mental health workforce within whānau, hapū and iwi, and other communities and industries.

Lecturer and Programme Lead Te Rangimaria Warbrick says the programme is targeted at those already working in the field as well as those looking at potential career shifts into the mental health sector.

“It is designed to give practitioners an extensive knowledge and practice of modern mental health and addiction therapies, while at the same time integrating tikanga and ahuatanga Māori into their practice, and ultimately, enabling practitioners to create their own kaupapa practice frameworks.”

Mr Warbrick says he’s looking forward to seeing students develop their own unique kaupapa Māori models of practice that align with the needs of their communities.
“The programme is a coming together of two worlds – cultural and clinical,” he says.

“How the programme is written and taught will be specific to the wānanga process where we seek to create best practice that has a clear focus on kaupapa Māori methods that our communities will be able to respond to.”

Head of the Indigenous Studies School at Awanuiārangi, Professor Mera Penehira explains that this course will focus on building workforce capacity in this space and in a way that hasn’t happened in Aotearoa to date.

“It’s a step forward for transformative changes in a sector that has lacked the capacity to build our workforce using kaupapa Māori methodologies,” says Professor Penehira.

“The future is about adding to indigenous knowledge through transformative practices that can be introduced when attempting to tackle drug and alcohol addiction.

“At Awanuiārangi, we’re committed to delivering programmes that are specifically based on the values of āhuatanga Māori according to tikanga Māori, and this is one of these examples. At the same time, we’re really keen to support and investigate the connections with what we are doing here and what’s happening elsewhere in world in regard to native and indigenous peoples.”

The course follows a blended delivery approach with noho wānanga (face-to-face, COVID-19 Alert Levels permitting), supported by online learning, and work-integrated learning where students must complete a minimum of 120 hours practicing as an addictions practitioner under supervision. Other learning activities include tutorials, expert panel discussions, case studies, online discussions, researching with whānau, hapū and iwi, and practice-based activities. Graduates of the programme will then be eligible to apply for registration with DAPAANZ.

The programme is currently taking expressions of interest for next year’s August 2022 intake.


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