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Central Lakes mental health crisis respite facility has opened

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A crisis respite facility providing short term care and support is now available to Central Lakes tāngata whaiora (person seeking health) who are struggling with their mental health.

The opening of the crisis respite facility in Queenstown marks the final stage of  the launch of Health NZ | Te Whatu Ora’s Central Lakes mental health crisis support service, provided by Central Lakes Family Services (CLFS).

The first stage of the new service - providing outreach support that sits alongside the current 24/7 regional crisis response service was launched last year.

The new facility offers a quiet, peaceful, and homely environment where tāngata whaiora can relax, stabilise, and reset, and is staffed by a dedicated team of clinically trained staff who provide 24-hour residential support.

The service offers short stays of up to three days respite, followed by support at home.

The service follows a localised Central Lakes model of care that was developed by clinicians, iwi, primary health providers, community agencies, NGOs, tāngata whaiora, whānau and government agencies who worked together to design the services, using Te Whare Tapa Wha as the guiding pillars.

“We’re seeing a lot of benefit from the model of care that has been able to be implemented to suit our individual community and it’s needs” says Fiona Young, CLFS Clinical Manager.

“We work together with tāngata whaiora, to develop a care plan that recognises their needs and goals and set them on the pathway to recovery with the right people and support around them.

“We’re able to offer a whole package for tāngata whaiora and their whānau that includes a holistic as well as medical approach. Wellbeing plans are discussed and put into place alongside the person which factors in sleep, exercise, nutrition, self-care etc and we also advocate for them connecting them with other services such as budgeting, housing and immigration.

“This support continues when they leave respite, with support also available to whanau to help them navigate the challenges their loved ones are experiencing.”

Tina Mongston, CLFS General Manager says it’s great to have both parts of their service up and running. “We’re able to offer a welcoming environment for both the outreach service and the respite service. I’m delighted and encouraged by the positive feedback received so far, and I’m also incredibly proud of the team and all their hard work in making this happen.”

“We’re seeing mental health presentations in every aspect of all the services we offer and having the expertise available to tap into within our team really benefits the community.”

“I’m delighted to see the success of the new localised model of care, and the availability of more mental health services in Central Lakes that have been designed for the community by community,” says Health NZ | Te Whatu Ora Southern, Acting Executive Director of Mental Health, Addictions and Intellectual Disability, Hamish Brown.

The new Central Lakes localised model of care meets areas of need identified through the 2021 Time for Change - Te Hurihanga review. It’s part of a larger programme of mental health reforms underway to bring mental health and wellbeing care closer to home and make it easier to access for everyone.