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Taranaki Health Foundation launches new fundraising campaign

Media Release – EMBARGOED UNTIL MONDAY 6 MARCH, 10AM

March 3, 2017

Taranaki Health Foundation launches new fundraising campaign to improve mental health facility

The Taranaki Health Foundation will launch a new community campaign this week called ‘The Open Minds Project,’ which aims to raise funds for enhancements to Taranaki’s Mental Health Inpatient Unit currently being renovated.

Taranaki DHB CEO, Rosemary Clements, said “The renovation of our Mental Health Inpatient Unit has been in construction since September last year, but thanks to support from the Taranaki Health Foundation’s Open Minds Project we can now focus on enhancing the space to help patients readjust back into the community.”

The inpatient unit is the secure area of Te Puna Waiora, the Mental Health and Addictions area at Taranaki Base Hospital which is set up to help people during times of acute psychiatric need, times when they may hurt themselves or others. Over 500 people use the facility each year and since it was last renovated 16 years ago it has become out-dated. The changes will mean that Taranaki has an up to date mental health unit in line with a modern day model of care for people suffering with acute psychiatric issues.

A new floor plan has been designed to ‘normalise’ the environment, by making it less clinical and more welcoming and comfortable. The design allows for more spaces and separate areas for different patient needs, helping to protect the dignity of patients and their whanau.

“We’ve learned a lot about treating mental health patients over the last decade and we believe the renovation will improve engagement between staff and patients, while also ensuring family and whanau feel welcome and supported during their loved ones treatment,” said Mrs Clements.

Taranaki DHB has invested $2.4 million for the redesign and renovation of the Mental Health Inpatient Unit, however the Taranaki Health Foundation’s $180,000 fundraising target will go towards further enhancements including outdoor courtyard spaces, a fitness zone, appropriate furnishings, artwork, therapeutic and special sensory modulation resources and technology for the unit.

Taranaki Health Foundation General Manager, Bry Kopu, said “We are proud to support such an important campaign. Sometimes people need extra support for mental health issues and the enhancements to the inpatient unit will provide a calm and nurturing environment.”

“Mental health problems are common amongst many Taranaki men, women and young people, and when a person is unwell the impact extends further to family, friends and loved ones.”

“We believe this campaign will have a positive impact on many people’s lives so we ask the community to join us to build awareness and support patient recovery, healing and well-being. Every cent raised by the Foundation will go directly to the Mental Health Inpatient Unit campaign.”

The Open Minds Project campaign is officially launched on Monday 6 March and runs through to December 2017. Donations can be made by downloading a pledge form from the Taranaki Health Foundation or Taranaki DHB websites, donating on Give-a-Little, TSB Bank online or at any TSB Bank branch in Taranaki.

ENDS


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