Christchurch charity aims to raise $300k towards mental health outpatient facility for youth

A fundraising campaign has been launched for a new mental health outpatient facility for children...
A fundraising campaign has been launched for a new mental health outpatient facility for children and young people in Canterbury. Photo: File / Getty Images
A fundraising campaign has been launched to raise $300,000 in six weeks for a new mental health outpatient facility for children and young people in Canterbury.

The Māia Health Foundation has launched a The Shine A Light appeal with the Rainbow Children's Trust and two other donors agreeing to match dollar for dollar up to $150,000.

Māia has partnered with the Canterbury District Health Board for a new outpatient facility which will be located on the outskirts of the Hillmorton campus.

The Māia Health Foundation says that since 2018 there has been a 140 per cent increase in demand for child and youth mental health services and that last year 4614 new young people were referred to CDHB's Child, Adolescent and Family (CAF) service.

Deborah Selwood. Photo: Supplied
Deborah Selwood. Photo: Supplied
Canterbury District Health Board Child, Adolescent and Family service manager Deborah Selwood says the current facilities do not reflect the service's modern way of caring for people.

"We have treatments and therapies that we would love to offer, but that our facilities don't easily support."

Māia Health Foundation Trustee Janine Morrell-Gunn said the new facility cannot come soon enough.

"Our young people have faced a decade of extraordinary challenges and urgently need our help. We have incredible, passionate mental health staff who are hamstrung every day by the dark, broken buildings they must bring our most vulnerable and at-risk young people into for treatment."

A patient called Otty, who has overcome obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, says a new facility for mental health is needed.

"It's wonderful that we have a lovely new emergency department and hospital in town but when you visit the mental health units and see the conditions there, it's just the worst place. It feels forgotten, but by telling my story and supporting Māia I'm hoping we can change that."

Māia has committed to raising $6 million towards the facility - the Shine A Light appeal runs until Christmas.

 

 

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