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Seven MHAIDS staff with nursing and social work backgrounds have achieved Master’s qualifications in their fields, contributing to new approaches and perspectives that can be used when treating and supporting clients.

The range of research undertaken includes a study of the correlation between physical activity and mental health outcomes, orientation programmes for new nurses, alcohol and other drug addiction recovery, the treatment of opioid use disorder, and the reduction of seclusion.

“Undertaking significant research while working full time in mental health, addictions and intellectual disabilities is no mean feat,” said MHAIDS general manager Nigel Fairley.

“The dedication these staff have poured into their research, while juggling long hours and competing commitments, is outstanding. It demonstrates the passion and drive they have for uncovering new ways to improve the lives of our clients and workforce.”

Some of this research has also been published internationally. A clinical study by nurse practitioner Blair Bishop (image attached) – to understand perspectives of using buprenorphine/naloxone to treat opioid use disorder – was published in the International Journal of Mental Health, and has been a valuable source of research for addictions clinicians in New Zealand and abroad.

“MHAIDS has been really supportive in my research and pathway to becoming a nurse practitioner,” Blair said.

“I highly encourage nurses who may be interested in the challenge to take every opportunity to pursue their area of passion and make the most of the support provided by MHAIDS – it’s a rewarding journey.”

MHAIDS provide services across Wellington, Porirua, Kapiti, the Hutt Valley and the Wairarapa, as well as some central region and national services.

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