Our Work

Clinical Advisory Services Aotearoa (CASA) has a model of working alongside groups and organisations that acknowledges the strengths both parties bring to the relationship. We bring a broad range of knowledge, skills and experience in the areas of suicide prevention and postvention as well as broader areas of mental health and wellbeing. Our kaupapa is to share our clinical expertise through training, supervision, support and consultancy. We have a particular emphasis on the delivery of effective suicide prevention and postvention services to organisations and communities.

Community Postvention Response Service (CPRS)

The Community Postvention Response Service (CPRS) is funded by the Ministry of Health. The role of the service is to provide support to a community when there is concern about suicide contagion or a suicide cluster (actual or emerging). CPRS operates as an external consultation service that works alongside communities when invited to facilitate a postvention response. CPRS uses a community development model and works in partnership with local agencies and leadership, combining CPRS expertise and knowledge with the community’s own expertise and knowledge to guide and advise on the most appropriate response for each unique community of concern. More detailed information about CPRS can be found in the CPRS Information Resource.

Coronial Data Service (CDS)

From 1 July 2014, the Ministry of Health established Coronial Data Service (CDS) to securely notify District Health Boards (DHBs) of instances of suspected suicides in their regions. Notifications consist of brief identifying information on suspected suicides sourced from Coronial Services NZ who obtain the information when the death is notified to the Coroner.

CDS was initiated by the Ministry of Health in order to implement Action 11.2 of the New Zealand Suicide Prevention Action Plan (2013-2016; NZSPAP). Action 11.2 is to establish a function to analyse and share up-to-date provisional coronial data on suicide deaths with agencies working in local areas to help prevent further suicides – suicide postvention (NZSPAP 2013-2016).

Suicide Postvention refers to the wide range of activities that are undertaken directly after a suicide in a community due to the potentially harmful effect the suicide may have on others (particularly but not exclusively for youth) who may also engage in suicide related behaviours or attempt suicide (referred to as contagion). Thus suicide postvention is also suicide prevention.

Towards Wellbeing (TWB)

The Toward Wellbeing Suicide Consultation and Monitoring Programme (TWB) was developed as an evidence-based pilot programme for The Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki (MVCOT) by the University Of Otago in 2000 and became part of MVCOT’s regular practice in 2005. The programme is funded by the Ministry for Vulnerable Children and is a risk assessment and monitoring service that supports social workers by providing timely access to specialist advice and support around identifying and managing suicide risk.

MAORI CAUCUS

Recognising a need, CASA formed an internal Māori leadership group made up of members of the board of Directors, and senior clinical staff.

The caucus made the decision to adopt the image of the waka hourua (double hulled canoe) to symbolize our work and our commitment to gaining more knowledge of Te Ao Māori and tikanga. This assists us when engaging with communities and whānau affected by suicide.

One of the hulls (Hiwi) represents our vast experience of clinical practice, research and knowledge, gained through years of accumulated work and study. The other hull represents the knowledge of Te Ao Māori and tikanga practice that we have acquired and continue to learn. Our Kaitakawaenga and Māori colleagues continue to teach and guide our tauiwi colleagues in all aspects of whakapapa, whanaungatanga, rangatiratanga and wairua as some of the guiding principles that shape how we now work in the wider community. Over the last 2-3 years, CASA has been active in recruiting more specialized Māori staff, both from a clinical perspective and a cultural one.

We are continually building relationships with Māori NGO, communities and Government agencies who also work in the field of suicide. We attend Māori hui, share our knowledge and resources through presentations at conferences, hui or one on one. We have recently signed a formal MOU in partnership with He Waka Tapu in Ōtautahi across a number of areas, suicide being a major area. CASA also acknowledges more broadly the diverse cultural background of New Zealanders and the importance of culture in wellbeing and has links with organisations such as Le Va.

Training and Consultation

CASA develops and delivers training that is tailored to the particular needs of groups and organisations. Under the 2010 - 2016 suicide strategy, CASA was responsible for the development and delivery of training to MVCOT social workers and residential staff. We have also provided training to a range of government agencies, health professionals, Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) and community groups. The focus of our training has mainly been on suicide prevention (identifying, assessing and managing suicide risk), suicide postvention and clinical supervision. We are also able to able to respond to requests for training in other areas of our expertise.

CASA can also provide assistance to organisations dealing with suicide related issues such as the impact of suicide within the work environment. This could include a review of the organisational response and identification of what needs to be actioned to address the current situation and reduce likelihood of future events. Additionally we are able work with organisations to proactively develop a health and safety framework for mental health which identifies organisational risk, strategies to reduce risk and systems for ongoing monitoring and longer term management of risk.