Lakes DHB, Māori unite to combat mental illness

By Mere McLean
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

The Lakes DHB in the Bay of Plenty has committed to improving mental health support services through an agreement between 16 providers and four Māori focussed units. The agreement aims to better help those suffering from mental illness.

The special relationship agreement signing is the first of its kind between the mental health and addiction sector in Lakes DHB.

“We really need to think what our systems do and what our people perform and behave in response to some of those situations,” says Marita Ranclaud (Lakes DHB), “So, once we have ensured we know that we are working in a way that is most effective and most efficient then we can have funding discussions.” 

Lakes DHB covers the Rotorua and Taupō health services and have invested $32mil into the sector.  Tina Berryman-Kamp works with vulnerable parents, she says more focus is needed on raising awareness. 

“We'll love to see a lot more awareness about the importance of the early years,” says Berryman-Kemp, “particularly for the infant but also that it is a really vulnerable time for parents.”

800 people access mental health and addictions services under the DHB. There has also been an increase in the area of addition illnesses but they say their focus is already on existing programmes. 

“It's about really knuckling down involving ourselves in the work that's already happening and getting that right,” says Ranclaud.