Whangārei community mental health services have been boosted by two employment support roles over the past year, with the most recent appointee beginning to work with clients just this week.
The two roles are with the Te Whatu Ora – Te Tai Tokerau IPS (individual placement support) employment service.
IPS is a specific type of supported employment programme (co-funded by Te Whatu Ora – Te Tai Tokerau and the Ministry of Social Development) that was originally developed for people experiencing mental health and addiction issues to receive services from community mental health teams. IPS offers intensive, individually tailored support to help people find a job of their choosing, and ongoing support for the employer and employee to help ensure the person keeps their job.
“It’s a great pleasure to welcome Leanne Colvin and Kirsty Sadler-Bridge to the whānau,” Te Whatu Ora – Te Tai Tokerau Vocational Professional Leader Richard Bell says. “It’s been a busy and exciting time over the past year, and we can already clearly see the impact that Leanne and Kirsty are making.
“Leanne has supported more than 30 people into work during the past 12 months. That’s a wonderful achievement. Kirsty joined us in early this month and is on track to make a similar positive impact for people in our community.
“Te Roopu Whiti Ora Māori Mental Health and Kamo community mental health teams now have a dedicated employment specialist as part of the team to support those interested in finding employment or education options to achieve their goals. We look forward to seeing ongoing successes in people securing sustainable employment and vocational education options.
“This week I took on my first clients as the Employment Specialist for Te Roopu Whitiora,” says Ms Sadler-Bridge. “I am excited to help our whaiora continue their journey to wellness through employment. Our clients are motivated to help themselves, so it gives me a real sense of purpose to be able to help them as part of their larger support team within Te Whatu Ora – Te Tai Tokerau.”
General Manager for Mental Health and Addictions for Te Whatu Ora – Te Tai Tokerau, Ian McKenzie, says it’s important to recognise the huge benefits that people gain from employment, in terms of their wellbeing.
“Employment is a really significant health intervention within the mental health and addictions sector,” he says. “It brings a sense of personal control, purpose, and self-determination. It provides hope and the ability to plan for the future. It’s immensely powerful and transformative.”
Imagine: Kirsty Sadler-Bridge