Government launches new approach to mental health and addiction crisis in Hawke's Bay

By Te Ao - Māori News

A new support service is in development for people who are at risk of mental health and addiction crisis in Hawke’s Bay.

The government pilot programme Te Tāwharau, meaning shelter, will be a hub of community-based health and social services supported by local providers and police.

Health Minister Andrew Little says when people are at crisis-point they need a place that feels safe so they can feel confident the right support will be available.

Te Tāwharau is the first programme of its kind where services will be based at one site in the community 24-7," Little says.

"This makes it easier for whānau to know where to get help as services are coordinated to support people in the best way possible.” 

Peer support

Peer support workers are also a part of the programme and they will consist of people with their own lived experience, or who have supported friends or whānau through mental health or addiction issues.

Little says, “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.

Residential beds will also be provided by kaupapa Māori iwi provider Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga.

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