Home' Hastings Mail : August 28th 2013 Contents 8 HASTINGS MAIL, AUGUST 28, 2013
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Anxiety levels 'skyrocket'
consumer Jonas Hatch
with Napier community
By CAROLYN VEEN
The very thought of getting rid of
Walnut Grove in Hastings and
Jacaranda House in Napier has
increased the anxiety levels of the
users of the mental health facili-
ties, says community advocate
The Hawke s Bay District
Health Board will close the
properties once it opens a new $22
million mental health unit on the
Hastings Hospital site in 2015.
It said not all services would be
shifted to Hastings, and con-
sumers . . . [would] be better
catered for .
That message had not appeased
Ms Pyke, who was not impressed
with the way the board put its
message across to facility users at
a meeting two weeks ago.
The DHB s blunt, confusing
and very distressing message has
threatened their sense of security
and attachment to the people who
make a real difference in their
daily lives, Ms Pyke said.
As an observer at the con-
sumers meeting it was awful to
watch and literally feel the anx-
iety levels in the room skyrocket
within the first two minutes.
The rest of the meeting was
chaotic and alongside the
caregivers, we spent most of the
time trying to calm people s anx-
iety levels and explain that, for
now, nothing was changing and
Jacaranda and Walnut Grove
would still be there for them. For
how much longer though, nobody
knows but one thing s for sure --
the DHB score zero out of 10 for
community engagement, she
Adamant the services must stay
in Napier where they were access-
ible, she said the people who used
Jacaranda would find it terrify-
ing just getting on a bus.
It s got nothing to do with the
bus being free or not, it s about
social anxiety and leaving the
safety of a secure environment,
said Ms Pyke.
They have invaluable thera-
peutic experiences at Jacaranda
House and at Walnut Grove.
Whirinaki resident Jonas
Hatch, who relied on the services
delivered at Jacaranda House,
said it would be a terrible thing
to lose it.
I use the services here . . . it s
such a supportive network, which
is vital because we all have our
wobbles. If they take that away,
then we re on our own, isolated
again . . . it s hard enough to
motivate yourself to get yourself
to a new place; social anxiety is
crippling and it takes huge cour-
age to even leave your house,
said Mr Hatch.
The sad truth is, if this service
goes, we ll never get it back.
With the finer points yet to be
decided, the health board s clinical
director Simon Shaw said people
needed to stay calm.
As consultation continues, it s
too early to say what will happen
or to comment on preconceived
ideas, which are often misguided.
For instance, not all 70 con-
sumers at Jacaranda House will
need to use the new facility in
He said non-government organ-
isations would be contracted to
provide some services in Napier.
We will be looking at providing
some additional, more intensive
services for consumers, along with
the therapeutic services currently
offered. Exactly where all of these
services will be provided has not
yet been decided.
Consumers . . . are going to be
better catered for with a variety of
well-researched services . . .
leaving the mental health unit to
provide for more intensive treat-
ment when it is required.
Walnut Grove and Jacaranda
House are owned by the board,
however a decision on whether the
properties would be sold had not
The business case for the new
mental health unit showed that
the two houses, Jacaranda and
Walnut Grove, would be surplus
to needs .
Several newcomers have
lined up alongside sitting
councillors to contest the
nine Hawke s Bay Regional
Twenty nominations for
the council in the upcoming
local body elections had been
received by closing at noon
on August 16.
For Wairoa, newby Shaun
Haraki is going up against
incumbent and board chair-
man Fenton Wilson.
Four people are vying for
the one Ngaruroro seat.
Standing against sitting
councillor Ewan McGregor
are newcomers Peter Beaven,
Kevin Mitchell and Chris
The Napier ward s three
vacancies are being contested
by seven nominees: incum-
bents Alan Dick and Chri-
stine Scott, and newcomers
Allan Baldock, Dave Pipe,
Pauline Elliott, Tim Tinker
and Paul Bailey.
The three Hastings seats
are being contested by sitting
councillors Kevin Rose and
Murray Douglas, and
newcomers Rick Barker, Rex
Graham and Tom Belford.
Central Hawke s Bay s one
seat is being contested by sit-
ting councillor Tim Gilbert-
son and Debbie Hewitt.
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