Clinic marks 35-year role

Dan Mustapic
Dan Mustapic
''Incredibly innovative'' when it started, the Family Mental Health Service in Mosgiel celebrated its 35th anniversary this month.

Clinical manager Dan Mustapic said the integrated community service was a new concept when it was established as a joint initiative between the University of Otago, and the then area health board.

The service was innovative because it brought mental health services, including psychiatrist and clinical psychologist clinics, to a community-based setting. Mr Mustapic said the service was still somewhat unusual, as an intermediate service between emergency mental health, and inpatient services, which many places still lacked.

He said about 10% of clients were elderly. Anxiety and depression accounted for about 70% of referrals.

The centre had about seven staff, and it hosted regular clinics, and other community outreach services.

Now part of Southern Primary Health Organisation, the centre had survived many changes in healthcare.

''[The PHO] more or less just left us alone to continue to do what we're doing. And so we've done that.''

A celebration was held at the service on March 5, attended by about 30 people.

Formerly known as the Mosgiel Family Health Counselling Centre, it was set up after a 1976 law change that supported the development of community-based mental health services.

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