New youth men­tal health unit opens in Kenepuru


A $15.3 mil­lion na­tional youth foren­sic men­tal health unit opened at Kenepuru Hospi­tal last month.

More than 100 peo­ple at­tended the 10-bed in­pa­tient fa­cil­ity’s of­fi­cial open­ing on April 21, with Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Hekia Parata step­ping in to snip the open­ing rib­bon af­ter flight de­lays stopped Health Min­is­ter Jonathan Cole­man from at­tend­ing.

Af­ter she fin­ished read­ing Cole­man’s speech, she said she felt glad the new fa­cil­ity would ad­dress the gap in youth men­tal health care, but was sad that New Zealand had a grow­ing de­mand for such a ser­vice.

‘‘Many fam­i­lies, in­clud­ing my own, have been touched by men­tal health challenges among our young peo­ple – too many fam­i­lies across New Zealand,’’ Parata said.

Nga Taiohi Youth Foren­sic In­pa­tient Ser­vice is the first se­cure fa­cil­ity of its kind in New Zealand and re­fer­rals come from a team of representatives from the five com­mu­nity-based youth foren­sic men­tal health ser­vices na­tion­wide.

It cares for teenaged of­fend­ers with a men­tal ill­ness and/or al­co­hol and drug prob­lems. The hospi­tal also has flats that their fam­i­lies can stay at to en­sure those re­la­tion­ships re­main strong.

Un­til now, such of­fend­ers have had to be treated in adult fa­cil­i­ties or in the com­mu­nity.

Cap­i­tal & Coast District Health Board chair­woman Dr Vir­ginia Hope said the unit, jointly funded by the Min­istry of Health and the DHB, had top tech­nol­ogy that would en­sure the young peo­ple could stay con­nected to their fam­i­lies and com­mu­nity, plus men­tal health providers in their ar­eas.

‘‘Today marks a ma­jor step for­ward in the way we care for

Hekia Parata opened the unit at Kenepuru.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.