Fresh thinking evident in new mental health unit

Health Minister Dr David Clark says he’s encouraged by the fresh, positive thinking evident in the design of Counties Manukau DHB’s new Tiaho Mai Mental Health Unit.

David Clark officially opened phase one of the new adult mental health inpatient facility situated in the grounds of Middlemore Hospital today.

“It has been fantastic to look around and see no fences and no barred windows, but instead find large, comfortable communal spaces, open courtyards, and a whare out front,” David Clark said.

“When I look at this facility, I see things being done differently.  I see what can be achieved when we utilise the principles of co-design, and tap into the knowledge and experience of the people using our mental health services, and our tangata whenua.

“The team at Counties Manukau have done a wonderful job to ensure this is a comfortable and safe place to recover.”

The new 38 bed facility increases capacity for acute inpatient mental health treatment in Counties Manukau which David Clark said was badly needed.

“Across New Zealand, there is still much progress to be made in mental health care. We know that there are significant challenges and people whose needs are not being met.  We also know that these challenges disproportionately affect particular communities, and that many of these disparities are unjust and preventable,” David Clark said.

Stage Two is expected to begin in early 2019. On completion Tiaho Mai will be able to accommodate 76 patients.