Funds needed for centre’s survival
A Kapiti health provider’s annual garage sale has taken on more importance with the loss of a government contract, leaving it $50,000 short of its operating costs for next year.
Te Ara Korowai, based in Raumati, north of Wellington, helped run the peer-led advocacy service, providing support for patients in Kapiti and Porirua with mental health and addiction problems.
As well as losing the Capital & Coast District Health Board contract, which was reallocated after it expired, they have been turned down for a lottery grant.
Manager Lisa Archibald said she was not thinking of closure, and the centre was seeking other funding through grants and fundraising efforts such as their garage sale.
‘‘We’ve had to change, rethink and restructure. These community NGOs are living on a wing and a prayer.’’
Te Ara Korowai’s opening hours will be cut to 9:30am-1pm, MondayThursday.
One staff member’s hours have been reduced from fulltime to 10 hours a week, while another has been employed by mental health provider Mind and Body.
Its advocacy services will be chopped altogether, concentrating instead on peer support and creative workshops.
Archibald said staff wanted Te Ara Korowai to be ‘‘the ambulance at the top of the cliff’’’.
‘‘We want to be preventative, and the health board is not good at that.
‘‘The people who are socially anxious, the clinician won’t help them, but if they aren’t helped the problem can escalate past the point where we can help them.’’
Vincents Art Workshop and Newtown Union Health Service ran the service alongside Te Ara Korowai.
Both have had a redundancy, but their opening hours have not been affected.
Mind and Body Consultants took over the three-year contract from July 1. They have mobile staff in Wellington, Porirua and Kapiti who will visit clients in their communities.
General manager Gordon Attwood said all staff had completed training, existing clients had been catered for and awareness-raising for new clients was under way.
3DHB mental health and addiction services planning and funding manager Arawhetu Gray said the DHBs looked to provide ‘‘a more comprehensive peer consumer advocacy service to better meet our communities’ changing needs’’.
The service’s funding had risen to $305,010 a year, from $297,000, she said.
Earlier this year figures from both Hutt Valley and Capital & Coast DHBs revealed a change in funding methods, which saw both receive less government money targeted for mental health.
The Te Ara Korowai building in Raumati and inset, manager Lisa Archibald.