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Phobic Trust Needs Proper Funding

4th July 2005

Phobic Trust Needs Proper Funding

The Phobic Trust is a registered charitable trust and a NGO, established in 1983 in direct response to the need to treat anxiety disorders, which were not being recognized and treated and are still under funded and under acknowledged.

The Trust provides high quality specialist therapy and education, and operates a national phone line dealing specifically with anxiety, phobic and obsessive compulsive disorders. For the first ten years we had to rely on fundraising and clients fees, in 1993 we obtained a contract for clinical services and was able to employ a psychiatrist and psychologist, then in year 2001 the contract was changed without negotiation to a support and education contract.

In Auckland we treat 500 people and their families each year. In Wellington over the last three years we have treated 325 clients and their families.

Half of the above people are on disability benefits and some close to the poverty line.

There exists abundant research that Anxiety disorders underlie, alcoholism and substance abuse, school avoidance, work absenteeism, gambling, criminal activities, family stress and, regrettably, suicide. Anxiety sufferers are more likely to have asthma, Irritable Bowel, hypertension and there have been links found between anxiety and diabetes and coronary heart disease and dermatitis. Recently there has been a spate of suicides in both Northland and Christchurch.

The Government/Ministry of Health is wanting greater access to psychological therapies but claims that these are not available due to the shortage of trained people. This at a time when the Phobic Trust has well established clinics with highly specialized staff. We certainly can fulfill the desire for greater access to therapy.

Our funding currently comes from client fees, sponsorships, donations and one support and education contract in Auckland, this income is totally inadequate to fund the Phobic Trust and once again we are in financial crisis. The Trust lurches from financial crisis to crisis as it needs to be funded properly by the Ministry of Health or a DHB.

At this stage our bank is rightly refusing to allow us an overdraft as we do not have a clinical contract, the Lottery Board has declined funding as it is seen by them as a problem which requires DHB funding.


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