Trust-funded centre on the cards

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A Queenstown couple’s planning to open a mental health centre to meet a gap they say the health board’s not addressing.

Osteopath Michelle Moynes and her partner, Dion Freeman, are in the process of starting a charitable trust to run mental health programmes in the resort.

“We decided it’s time to do something,” Moynes says.

“There’s definitely a need, quite a specific need in Queenstown.”

She says the project’s still in the early stages, and they’re on the hunt for a site and a funding model.

She says there’s “a lot of anxiety and depression” present in Queenstown.

“There’s a lack of heart, or a centre so people know where to go for information,” she says.

She wants to take a more holistic approach, saying “mental health isn’t about one thing”.

“We want to help individuals work out who they are and what makes them happy.”

Southern District Health Board mental health, addictions and intellectual disability boss Louise Travers says demand for mental health services has grown in Queenstown in recent years, as it has elsewhere in New Zealand.

“This is a shared challenge for our community, and it is always positive to see new initiatives being developed to support people.

“The DHB mental health service strives to provide services to people in need, and has increased the support available in Queenstown, along with broader services across the district.

“It’s not possible to discuss individual aspects of care, but anyone with personal concerns about this service is welcome to contact us to discuss this.”

daisy.hudson@scene.co.nz