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South Team Update

Updates and events

December 2016

Hard to believe that yet another year has almost come to an end! It’s an opportune time to reflect on the year that has been and the things which have really stood out for us here at South office. We’ve had a great year running the family support group at Awhinatia Community Mental Health in Papakura, which has been well attended and supported by Counties Manukau DHB. Our last support group was one of reflection and sharing for family members – what were your highs, lows and more importantly, what helped you through the struggles? (of the past year). The sharing helped put the focus on each individual and the strengths which have carried them through. Here’s a list of some of the responses:

•A healthy selfishness  • Mindfulness • Not sweating the small stuff • Staying Healthy! • Ensuring I have some personal space • “Sheer bloody mindedness”  (perseverance / determination / courage / hope) • Courage • Acceptance of the situation • Knowing that life is hard – why not me! • A realisation that somehow in some way I am growing in wisdom • Their need and my LOVE was greater than the fear • Gut instinct • Trust • GOD ! • My relationship (partner, family, other people) Recognising when I needed to go to counselling for ME • An inner awareness of what was happening for me • Not taking it on ……avoiding negativity • Having healthy boundaries • Honesty with myself and others • Support Group / Sharing • Not engaging in arguments (exhausting and gets you nowhere) • Enjoying Life!!!!!! Travel!!!!!!  Doing what you love!!! Don’t live your life for them • Having a supportive employer • Learning new skills to manage the situation

Thankyou to these family members who remind us that people have their own innate resources to draw from.

We are continuing to build on collaborations within Counties Manukau, not just within the mental health sector but also other organisations within the community where mental health is a factor, such as our local Police and the FVIARS (Family Violence Interagency Response System)  network, local health agencies, CYFs (Child, Youth and Family) etc. In this way we try to give perspective to communities of the impact mental health can have on families. This year we participated in the Whirinaki bi-monthly family information group, offering support to family members with a child or adolescent who has come into the care of Whirinaki (Youth mental health service). We look forward to continuing this collaboration in the new year as feedback has been positive and families do not feel they are alone, having learnt of SF services.

By all accounts, as Fieldworkers a lot of our time is spent hearing of a family members experiences, what they want to know or what they’re struggling with etc. It is so humbling to put yourself in anothers’ shoes and imagine walking the walk that they do. It can be a challenging place to be, which is why we often encourage selfcare and taking care of your own needs. And it’s also important for families to know that this advice goes to Fieldworkers as well! We could all do with some ‘me’ time, and Christmas break is a great time to do more of it! In saying that, our office will be closed from Monday 26th December to Thursday 5th January 2017. To all those who have supported our work, we would like to thankyou for your collaboration. And a special thankyou to the families we have worked with over the year. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year in 2017. Take care over the festive season.

Anne and Olivia 

May 2016

Greetings from SF Otahuhu. The year’s gotten off to a flying start with a few events happening in Counties Manukau:

New monthly Family Support Group Awhinatia Community Mental Health Services, Papakura. We had a good turnout for our first meeting, a great information session on medication which family members found useful eg its effects.

SF South held a workshop for families about schizophrenia (“What is Schizophrenia?”), giving some general understanding about its effects on family and developing strategies in order to support the family.

Otahuhu ran their yearly Health Expo a couple of weeks ago, sponsored by the Rotary Club. This public event involved many local community health agencies and services banding  together to inform the public of available health services. SF were able to take part again this year and are grateful to the Rotary Club and Council for this informative event.

COPMIA (Children of a Parent with Mental Illness and/or Addiction) holiday programme is running this coming school holiday term (April) with programmes running from Mangere and Otara. This programme (funded by Counties Manukau District Health Board) is run by Odyssey, for children aged between 8 and 16yo, providing psycho-education around mental illness and/or addiction to raise resilience and understanding.Feedback on this programme has been very positive from both children and parents.

These are just a few of the goings on with SF Otahuhu and we look forward to more throughout the year. Please contact us if you have any enquiries relating to these activities.

Keep well!

Anne and Olivia
Nō Reira!


April 2015

Some of the activities that have been happening in South Auckland over the last couple of months include:

There was a Mental Health First Aid training held for families on 19th and 20th February at Nathan Homestead, Manurewa.  Our General Manager Emma Dore was one of the presenters for this programme.  This is to show families the help they can give to someone they believe is developing a mental health issue or perhaps going into crisis; until professional help is able to intervene.  Please contact South office if you are interested in attending a Mental Health First Aid programme.

At our last Support Group we were fortunate to have Ms Wynnis Schmahl, a Service Manager with Affinity Services, presenting on Wellness Recovery Action Planning for families.  Her presentation was very well received by the attendees of the Support Group and gave us lots of tips to assist with recovery.  

At our last meeting with CMDHB Family Advisor, we were  informed that the Acute Mental Health Unit Tiaho Mai is going to be completely rebuilt, which is very exciting as family/whanau and consumers are going to be very involved in the design and decoration.

Some events that are coming up include:

Being run this April school holidays is the next COPMIA (Children of a Parent with a Mental Illness or Addiction) programme organised by Odyssey. This is for children between the ages of 8 and 16, and they are eligible to attend if the parent or other family member is under the CMDHB for their mental health issue or addiction. Please email yoholiday@odyssey.org.nz if you are interested in your child, grandchild, cousin, etc. attending. There is some help with transport costs available.

Supporting Families will have a stall at the upcoming Otahuhu Health Expo on 11 April 2015, to be held at the Otahuhu Town Hall, High Street, between 10:00am and 02:00pm. We look forward to seeing you there.

Our next Support Group is on Thursday 16 April at 7:30pm and will be based around an education session on ‘Communication and how it affects Recovery’. We will be sending out a Flyer closer to the time, however, if you are not on our regular email list for South Auckland, please give us a ring on 09 270 8543 if you would like to attend.

Nō Reira!
Anne and Olivia