Mental care respite service on DHB agenda

KELSEY FLETCHER
Last updated 12:00 20/03/2014

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A $1.3 million crisis service for people with addictions or mental health problems could be set up by the MidCentral District Health Board.

It is hoped the service will reduce the need for acute hospital admissions and improve accessibility to mental health services, providing a better safety net for some of the community's most vulnerable people.

The MidCentral community and public health committee yesterday recommended the board approve the respite service, which would be provided by Dalcam Health Care at a cost of $1.3m during three years.

The need for a crisis respite service was identified as a priority by the Clinical Network Mental Health and Addictions District Group in 2012.

The group identified that limited alternatives for acute care were available in the region when people experienced a mental health crisis, and community crisis respite options would provide the greatest benefit.

Mental health and addictions portfolio manager Claudine Nepia-Tule said the service would be accessible every day, 24 hours a day.

"This will be based in the community and will be responsive to adults," she said. "This is a new on-demand service and the impact is expected to benefit all potential users of crisis respite.

"It is important as it supports the vision of people receiving centred, quality care to support the best possible outcomes for those who are most vulnerable in our community."

The service would assist people who are unwell to the extent they cannot function or safely manage their day-to-day lives. They would get help either at home or away from their usual living situation.

Ms Nepia-Tule said taking the service into the community would make it more accessible to those in need.

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- Manawatu Standard

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