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Saturday, April 17, 2021

New mental health hub for Hawke’s Bay

The Government has announced a new support service for people in Hawke’s Bay who are experiencing, or at risk of, mental health and addiction crisis.

“Providing better services for people experiencing mental health or addiction issues is a priority for this government. When people are at crisis-point, they need a place that feels safe and need to feel confident the right support will be available,” Health Minister, Andrew Little said today.

He said the pilot programme, Te Tāwharau, meaning shelter, would be a hub of community-based services delivered as a collaboration between health, social services and police, and would include a dedicated peer support team.

“Te Tāwharau is the first programme of its kind where services will be based at one site in the community 24-7. This makes it easier for whānau to know where to get help as services are coordinated to support people in the best way possible,” Mr Little said.

“The peer support workers will be people with their own lived experience, or who have supported friends or whānau through mental health or addiction issues.

“The intention will be that these peer support workers act as a first step in preventing a crisis to ensure those in need can get help early.”

He Ara Oranga: Report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction, highlighted the need for services to incorporate lived experience and peer-led solutions as well as new ways of engagement to better help communities.

In response this Government invested $8 million over four years to improve crisis response in Budget 2019. 

Te Tāwharau will include adult respite residential beds provided by kaupapa Māori Iwi provider Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga, an emergency mental health and home-based treatment team, peer-support workers, Ministry of Social Development support and a police liaison.

Te Tāwharau is expected to be fully operational towards the end of June.

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