The Open Minds Project
Mental health is always in need of funding. It is often the last department to receive funding, and yet can have the biggest impact on people's lives. Investing in mental health also has a knock effect of reducing the cost of other healthcare issues at a later date.
In March 2017, the Taranaki Health Foundation started raising funds to support better care for patients in Taranaki Base Hospital's Intensive Psychiatric Unit (IPC). The unit had a major renovation, transforming it into a centre that provides care in a safe, whānau-friendly and respectful environment.
The hidden illness
The IPC is an integral part of the care offered at Taranaki Base Hospital, but it’s also one that is not often talked about. Over 500 people use the mental health services at Taranaki Base Hospital each year, and mental illness affects 1 in 6 people. But the impact isn't only felt by the person suffering, it spreads to their friends, whānau and loved ones.
The money raised as part of the Open Minds Project was part of larger rennovations to Te Punwa Waiora. The IPC was made more than just a care facility. It was developed into a place where people feel truly supported on their step towards wellness.
The project aimed to deliver:
- Garden zones
- Fitness zones
- Dedicated youth friendly ‘adolescent’ area
- Whānau room
- Meeting room/training room
- Sensory Modulation Resources
- Artwork and Video/Images
Invetsing in mental health
Once again the generosity of businesses in Taranaki blew us away! We received support from businesses across the region, as well as many individuals. All appreciated the importance of investing in health, and in particular mental health. It is with their generosity that we are able to provide a mental health service at Taranaki Base Hospital that is less dismissive and more focussed on the persons wellbeing.