Tararua Mental Health is a part of the MidCentral District Health Board area, and covers the Tararua District from Norsewood to Eketahuna providing services for Ormondville, Dannevirke, Woodville, Pahiatua, Alfredton, Pongaroa, Akitio and Weber.
Clinical manager Jillian McElwee says the service caters for adult mental health for people over 18. One team works from two sites based in Dannevirke and Pahiatua. It has:
• Psychiatrists (two daysa week in Dannevirke and one day a week in Pahiatua);
• a clinical manager;
• seven registered nurses working in a variety of roles including key working clients and crisis/ duty;
• Alcohol and other drug clinicians;
• A limited psychology service based in Pahiatua and administration staff.
This service provides assessment, treatment, education and support for people known to have or suspected to have a moderate to severe mental illness, she says. Support and education is also provided for family/whanau and friends of people experiencing mental illness.
Referrals are received from many sources, including GPs, self-referrals, family/whanau/friends referrals or from other service provides including government/non-government agencies and people seen in crisis situations.
"The referrer is always welcome to discuss the referral by phone or in person with a member of the team and advice can be given as to the best avenue to take.
"The main focus our service is recovery and maintaining wellness, with discharge being the ultimate goal. The client works in conjunction with their key worker and psychiatrist to develop an individualised plan which may include medications and ongoing evaluation of the treatment plan and goals."
Generally the goal is for clients to remain well and in the community, with treatment provided with appointments either at the offices or in the person's home, or other place agreed to by the client.
"Admissions to the inpatient unit at Palmerston North Hospital may be required when a client is experiencing a relapse in their condition.
"Key workers will work with the client and family/whanau (if appropriate) to look at what additional supports, if any, are needed and make appropriate referrals when required.
"The Tararua district is very fortunate to have Rangitane O Tamaki Nui A Rua, which provides support workers and the Manawarangi Activity Centre for people experiencing mental illness who do not have to be a client of mental health services to use these services."
MASH Trust also provides a service to support clients with medication management and support workers."
Ms McElwee has been Clinical Manager for two months after serving in the Mental Health Crisis Team for seven years.
She says her team is resourceful with a great work ethic. Being a small team, means it works well together, she says.
The team has a fairly large case load with 85 on its books in Dannevirke and 42 in Pahiatua.
Dannevirke's unit works out of the Community Hospital and Pahiatua's from the Pahiatua Health Centre.