David is a psychiatrist with 28 years experience working in the community mental health sector in New Zealand, in a range of clinical and leadership roles. He has spent the past 14 years leading development of primary mental health programmes, and advocating at a regional and national level for strengthening of primary mental health capacity, along with better support for primary care from secondary mental health services. David currently works with East Tamaki Healthcare, leading development of an innovative integrated primary mental health programme to the network of ETHC clinics providing team-based primary care services to populations in high-needs areas of Auckland, NZ.
Previously, David co-hosted the mental health promotion radio/TV show “The Nutters Club”, with well-known NZ comedian Mike King, from 2006-2012. He is a member of the board of Key to Life trust, the organisation that supports the mental health promotion/suicide prevention work Mike and his team do in schools and communities across NZ. David also chairs Safe Man Safe Family trust, a team lead by Family Violence Prevention advocate Vic Tamati who provide community education, and peer outreach/engagement and a violence prevention programme, for perpetrators of family violence.
He is frequently called on to provide advice and expertise to regional and national-level mental health promotion and strategy activities; these currently include membership of the advisory board to the NZ Depression Awareness Campaign (best known for the JK ads and The Journal); the Mental Health and Addictions Integration Leadership Group for Counties Manukau DHB; the National Mental Health and Addiction Workforce Plan sector expert group; the “Mental Health – Fit for the Future” working group to the Ministry of Health; and the sector leaders group developing the Mental Health and Addictions Improvement Programme with the Health Quality and Safety Commission.