Lack of knowl­edge in ac­cess­ing help

Clutha Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - RE­BECCA MOORE

A south Otago men­tal health worker is con­cerned peo­ple do not know where to find help.

PACT’s Bal­clutha Link Cen­tre men­tal health worker Tracey Cur­rie said there was a prob­lem in the re­gion with mak­ing ser­vices avail­able that helped with peo­ple’s well­be­ing.

‘‘I’m not sure if the ser­vices are well enough known . . . if peo­ple know where to go to get the help,’’ she said.

Cur­rie has worked in in­dus­try for about 10 years.

She said dur­ing that time men­tal health was not get­ting any bet­ter.

More in­ter­ven­tion, ser­vices made avail­able and well-known was needed, she said.

There was also a real lack of fund­ing, with sta­tis­tics get­ting ‘‘worse and worse’’, she said.

‘‘There’s cut­ting here and there, when ... we need those re­sources so des­per­ately.’’

Ca­reer­force man­ager for ap­pren­tice­ship and vo­ca­tional path­ways Penny Rogers said Cur­rie was one of 10 trainees through­out the re­gion, in In­ver­cargill, Bal­clutha and Dunedin, who were en­rolled in the New Zealand Ap­pren­tice­ship in Men­tal Health and Ad­dic­tion Support.

Cur­rie jumped at the op­por­tu­nity to take part in the pro­gramme be­cause she had al­ways the loved help­ing peo­ple, she said.

She helps about 70 peo­ple with dis­abil­ity and men­tal health is­sues, in­clud­ing de­pres­sion, anx­i­ety, schizophre­nia, bipo­lar dis­or­der as well as drug and al­co­hol ad­dic­tions.

‘‘I was the first to put my hand up [for the pro­gramme]. ‘‘I love learn­ing,’’ she said. ‘‘I’m re­ally pas­sion­ate about sup­port­ing peo­ple and mak­ing a dif­fer­ence in peo­ple’s lives.’’

The NZQA-ap­proved course, based on­line, was about get­ting to know your­self and self re­flec­tion, she said.

Ca­reer­force brought on board 100 new trainees na­tion­wide to be a part of the pro­gramme, which launched mid-last year.

South­land is the third-largest re­gion in terms of trainees for the pro­gramme, be­hind Auck­land and Wellington which had the largest num­bers be­cause of the large pop­u­la­tion in those ar­eas, Rogers said.

‘‘Ca­reer­force has a num­ber of ap­pren­tices in ru­ral ar­eas, but in gen­eral our en­rol­ment num­bers re­flect the pop­u­la­tion of New Zealand.’’

The pro­gramme was de­signed for peo­ple who are ex­pe­ri­enced in their field, she said.

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