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$25m facility less than a year away

KATASHA M CCULLOUGH
Last updated 05:00 04/04/2014
Mental health building underway
HEALTHY START: From left, mental health services charge nurse manager Brian Leaman, North Shore MP Maggie Barry, Waitemata DHB chairman Lester Levy and chief executive Dale Bramley plant a tree at the construction site.

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Work is under way on a "world-class" mental health facility on the Shore.

Waitemata District Health Board is building a $25 million mental health facility - He Puna Waiora (a pool of wellness) on the site of North Shore Hospital.

The board's mental health services are now housed in a former maternity ward built in the 1950s.

North Shore MP Maggie Barry planted a tree in a ceremony marking the start of construction.

She says it will be a world-class facility that will help people when they are at their most vulnerable.

He Puna Waiora will be physically linked to North Shore Hospital, have dedicated therapeutic spaces, an outdoor area and more visiting room for families.

Adult mental health services operations manager Don MacKinven says the facility will complement the in-community services.

"The majority of people who need help are treated in their community, not in hospital."

The average length of a stay in a mental health facility is 20 days, he says.

Construction is due to finish in February 2015.

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