Groups working to address synthetic cannabis addiction in Maraenui are being under-utilised due to cultural issues, a report has found.

The report, commissioned by the Hawke's Bay District Health Board after recent media attention give to mental health and addiction within the area, highlighted a myriad of issues with addiction treatment in the suburb.

To gain insight and capture community views, an environmental assessment was carried out within the Ahuriri eastern suburbs by Kotare Services (Roopu a Iwi Trust).

The purpose of the report was to determine the nature and magnitude of mental health and addiction services available, which stakeholders were providing these services, and what gaps community providers, leaders and consumers, felt existed.

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It surveyed health practitioners, users, and residents within the area.

However, at its core is the fact many people are unaware of the types of services available to them and how to access help.

HBDHB General Manager Te Wāhanga Hauora Māori, Patrick LeGeyt said a more whanau-led approach is needed.

"Our goal is to work with key service providers and other community stakeholders and whānau/consumers to co-design and establish culturally responsive Mental Health and Addiction services for the population within the Maraenui community."

Furthermore, it highlighted how some providers were stretched, others had spare capacity and a complicated referral system created delays.

At the time of the concerns being raised within the community, there had been no wait lists within Napier's Community Mental Health Service (DHB-led), LeGeyt said.

However, a peer support drop-in service run by volunteers which had been operating every Saturday morning in Maraenui had ceased due to losing its venue.

LeGeyt agreed community accessibility to services is a challenge, adding that referral pathways need to be looked at as well as whānau experience and perception of accessing mental health and addiction services.

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"We need to review and implement strategies to reduce barriers."

Helplines for those in need:
For those in urgent need or in crisis, there is a 24/7 line people can call: 0800 112 334 but if there are immediate safety concerns, people are encouraged to ring 111 first.
- Txt 1737 anytime to speak with a trained counsellor
- The Alcohol Drug Helpline on 0800 787 797 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to speak with a trained counsellor. The helpline also offers:
- Free txt 8681 and we will txt you back for a free, confidential conversation
- Call the Māori Line on 0800 787 798 for advice and referral to kaupapa Māori services
- Call the Pasifika Line on 0800 787 799 for advice and referral to services developed for Pacific people
- Call the Youth Line on 0800 787 984 for advice and referral to services for young people