Authors: Lesley Forbes, NEW ZEALAND
Event: 2007 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Rural leads the way, INNOVATIONS; RESOURCES/FUNDINGRURAL/REMOTE MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: An educational and humorous journey of one of the first rural mental health services in New Zealand. Nineteen years ago a new mental health service was developed in rural Central Otago, New Zealand a farming and fruit growing region – the nearest psychiatrist over 200 kilometres away. Many Challenges presented themselves to the Central Otago Mental Health Unit: the growing population of rural folk with mental illness, the harsh climate and the distances between our widely scattered clientele, our extremely limited budget and resources and the management of risk for staff often travelling on ice and snow in remote areas all introduce a colourful paper of innovation and resourcefulness in the building of a mentally healthy rural community. The successful care our clientele have received under such unsympathetic conditions has lead the way for today’s successful team of pioneers in the rural mental health sector and as our environment changes and urban area’s develop so too have our practices.