Mental health boost

Central Lakes Family Services will be the provider for a new mental health crisis support service in Queenstown, the first stage of which
is expected to be operational early next month.

Te Whatu Ora says the service, which covers the Queenstown Lakes and Central Otago, will primarily be for people over the age of 18, but can provide services for younger people, if needed.

The outreach support part of the service will sit along side the 24/7 regional crisis response service, providing more local options to support people in mental distress, including those who might otherwise be admitted to acute inpatient mental health services.

It’ll include home-based support for people experiencing acute distress, and education and support for whānau and carers.

The second stage, providing short-term residential care, remains a ‘‘work in progress’’ — more details will be released once a suitable location’s secured.

The new service, developed by a host of stakeholders, meets areas of need identified through the 2021 ‘Time for Change’ Te Hurihanga review and is part of a larger programme of mental health reforms.

Te Whatu Ora Southern’s Toni Gutschlag says they’ve taken the review findings ‘‘very seriously’’ and want to provide better crisis support and more options closer to home for those in need across the Central-Lakes.

‘‘This is a big step towards transforming mental health and addiction services in a part of our region that has historically been under served.’’

She pays particular tribute to former Queenstown councillor John MacDonald, who chairs the Central Lakes Mental Health and Addictions Network, for his work on the new model, as well as the various agencies and community members who worked on it.

‘‘We’re also delighted to be partnering with Tina Mongston and the Central Lakes Family Services team.

‘‘As a well-established and respected regional organisation, they already work closely with mental health services and key agencies so
their skills, knowledge and experience will add huge value.

‘‘Together they will ensure each person under their care is assessed and treated with discretion and dignity, and that they feel safe and supported throughout their journey,’’ she says.

Mongston says over the past 30 years the organisation’s adapted to meet the changing needs of the local communities, ‘‘so offering a
mental health support service feels like a natural expansion’’.

[email protected]

- Advertisement -