Quakes reduce mental health stigma

NICOLE MATHEWSON
Last updated 05:00 24/12/2012

Relevant offers

Christchurch earthquake

Christchurch earthquake memorial: How it works and what to look for Some Christchurch quake victims' families say chair memorial should be scrapped Class action against Southern Response returns to court after company appeals Earthquake survivor and pin-up star Monique Mclennan returns to Christchurch When it comes to disaster preparedness for people with disabilities, can we do better? Drone flyover shows big job ahead for repairers of Christchurch's Sumner Rd Police complete report into CTV collapse, no decision on prosecutions Welcome to A-town: A connected community in Christchurch's second poorest suburb National Portrait: Earth's rumblings a fascination for scientist Dr Ken Gledhill Government's 'third power' move on Christchurch red-zoning impinged human rights, report says

Canterbury's earthquakes have helped break down some of the stigma around mental illness, says a new Christchurch mental health leader.

Toni Gutschlag was on Friday announced as the new general manager for the Canterbury District Health Board's (CDHB) Specialist Mental Health Services.

She would step into the role from January, taking over from Sandra Walker, who left in August.

CDHB nursing director Mary Gordon had been acting general manager for the last four months.

Gutschlag said mental health had become more of a talking point since Canterbury's earthquakes, which had helped to break down some of the traditional barriers and stigma around it.

"As a community there's a much greater awareness of the importance of mental health and wellbeing," she said.

"Through our experiences we have learned the importance of taking good care of ourselves and our families from a mental wellbeing perspective."

Gutschlag had more than 20 years experience working in mental health in Canterbury and had seen it change from an inpatient and residential-based system to having a focus on community care.

She acknowledged working in mental health care could be challenging.

"When things don't go well we need to learn from those experiences, but it is also important to highlight that across the mental health system there are people doing extraordinary things on a daily basis to ensure people's needs are met. Being part of that is a real privilege."

Ad Feedback

- The Press

Comments

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content