A growing need for mental health and addiction support has led a Napier community organisation to develop its services.

Whatever it Takes (WIT), which has provided mental health and addiction support for the last 17 years, has had to expand to cater for a growing need of support in Hawke's Bay.

The organisation started working with a Community Mentors New Zealand business mentor to help with this development last year.

General manager Caroline Lampp said WIT was offered a year-long mentorship through Community Mentors New Zealand with a retired business expert early last year and still calls upon him from time to time for assistance.

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"It's been really good to have someone to work with, an outside set of eyes."

The organisation has had to develop and increase services due to a growing need for support in Hawke's Bay, she said.

"The business is growing, unfortunately, because the need is out there.

"As health services around the country struggle to cope with the number of people coming forward with mental health difficulties lots of organisations like WIT are asked to help."

There was also a lack of support for people with addiction issues and WIT tried to respond to anybody who requested help, she said.

"There is a growing number of people in the community with these issues. We work alongside them to make the changes they need. If people are going to succeed they need some support."

WIT had also expanded into social housing due to realising that people with mental health and addiction problems were finding it increasingly difficult to find housing, especially in this climate when it was hard for many people in society to find good, affordable houses to live in at the moment, Mrs Lampp said.

"It's extremely difficult so we have become a social housing provider in Hawke's Bay.

"We realised that if people didn't have a safe, warm, affordable house they were never going to be able to address their mental health and addiction problems.

"We have some housing but we're trying to build up our portfolio as we don't have enough housing for all the people who need it."

An increase in mental health and addiction issues can be linked to societal difficulties such as housing, unemployment and family relationships as these can have an impact on people's wellbeing, she said.

Many staff members at WIT have experienced mental health or addiction issues themselves and this helps them to relate more with their clients and build up a strong level of trust.

"They really understand the difficulties that they face," Mrs Lampp said.

In the last year WIT has supported 350 people and 20 rough sleepers have been housed in the last six to eight months as part of a joint project to help homeless with the Napier City Council and other community organisations.

WIT operates a day centre in both Napier and Hastings, recovery programmes and residential care facilities.

Staff also assist people into housing, returning to work and anything else to help them live well in their community.