Health Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman has today opened a new specialist mental health facility at the Mason Clinic in Auckland.

“In line with international trends, here in New Zealand we’ve seen an increase in demand for mental health and addiction services in recent years,” says Dr Coleman.

“We are responding to this increase by lifting the funding for mental health and addiction services, seeking out innovative ways to address issues, and by investing in additional facilities.

“Te Aka is a new $14.4 million specialist mental health facility within the Mason Clinic. The 15 bed unit provides five additional specialist beds, taking the clinic’s total bed capacity to 108.

“The state-of-the-art building includes sensory modulation rooms, a gym, internal courtyards and plenty of natural light.

“Research shows that treatments which include holistic cultural engagement are more effective in rehabilitation. With this in mind, Te Aka includes a wharenui (meeting house) which helps set the scene for a culturally respectful treatment.”

The Mason Clinic provides services at both a regional and a national level for people with forensic mental health or intellectual disability issues who have committed criminal offences or are at high risk in the community.

This $14.4 million development is the latest in a series of developments and upgrades designed to address the growing demand for specialist mental health services.

Recent work includes the rebuild of the Te Miro Maori and Pacific Nations resource centre, the Kauri medium secure unit remediation project and the improvements to the Tane Whakapiripiri and Pohutukawa units.

This work is part of a much larger redevelopment programme under way at Waitemata DHB. Major projects include the refurbishment of the emergency department at Waitakere Hospital, as well as a new outpatient clinic and learning centre at North Shore Hospital.

This is being supported by the extra $82 million in new money Waitemata DHB will receive this year, taking the DHB’s total funding to $1.588 billion for 2017/18. That’s an extra $497 million in funding over the last nine years.

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