Equip is a leading mental health organisation, an extension of Windsor Park Church, providing an innovative model of care, effective support and education in the greater Auckland region.

Join us to hear about the Ministry's response to the Mental Health & Addiction Inquire and find out what this means for you and your whanau

Wednesday, November 06, 2019
Skills and strategies to support you to manage your own health and well being
Wednesday, November 06, 2019
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Are you a family member of a person who experiences mental health issues? Equip would love to connect with you.

Wednesday, November 06, 2019
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1 in 5 NZ adults experience mental illness in any year. Would you know how to respond?
Wednesday, November 06, 2019
Brain and Body Working Together

The distress experienced by some of our top athletes shows that it is possible to be completely physically healthy and yet completely miserable from a mental health problem. But there really does seem to be a connection between mental and physical health.

Can physical health problems cause mental issues?

Yes! Of course, injuries and infections can mess with our brains directly, but sometimes the stress of being unwell can drag our mental well-being down as well. For example, painful conditions like shingles can lead to a person becoming depressed. Cancer patients often need a lot of psychological support as they go through anxieties and stresses of their illness. Just feeling rotten physically or limited, especially for a long period of time, drags our emotions down as well.

Can mental health problems cause physical health issues?

Again yes, sometimes in ways that are not well understood. For instance, people with schizophrenia have a much higher incidence of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Schizophrenics are about five times as likely to be heavy smokers, and that has a big impact on their health and, sadly, tends to shorten their life. People with mental health problems sometimes lack the motivation to exercise, eat well and take care of themselves. Sometimes they also lack the money to buy themselves healthier food options.

Can mental health be improved by improving our physical health?

A much louder yes! We are a ‘whole package’ – mind and body interacting together. There can be huge benefits from counselling and medicines, but mental health workers know that sometimes the best improvements come when someone starts walking a few kilometres a day, or playing a sport, or getting on a bike or going to the gym. Do the benefits come from being active rather than just isolated at home? Do they come from the fact we are being socially active and mixing with people? Do they come from the wonderfully good feeling of making progress and taking control of our life? Could the benefits come from the ‘endorphins’ released as we experience the pleasure of physical activity? Or are they due to the fact that our body is stronger and fitter and somehow that makes our brain healthier too? Probably… all of the above!

You wouldn’t normally think of them as being ‘mental health strategies’ but maybe your mood would lift if you got your teeth fixed, or you walked past the burger place and into the veggie shop instead, or went for a walk, or asked your doctor for a ‘green prescription’ to go to a gym, or sold the Playstation and bought a Fit-bit instead, or got yourself the best exercise piece of exercise equipment ever… a dog!

Tuesday, October 29, 2019
Here are some characteristics of families that provide the best support for people with mental health challenges.
Whānau supports mental health

When we are looking for solutions to mental health problems, we usually think of what medicine a doctor might prescribe or what psychotherapy we might get from a psychologist. These are valuable but families are also hugely important: a well-functioning family environment helps us to sustain good mental health, and can be a critical component in our recovery and coping if we do become unwell.

Here are some characteristics of families that provide the best support for people with mental health challenges.

1. They understand. Disappointment, embarrassment, distress and resentment might be natural responses to the challenging behaviour and moods of a family member who is mentally unwell, but education about mental health can make tough times much more tolerable. If you understand the underlying reasons, it is so much easier to extend grace and patience. Offence turns into sympathy. This is sometimes called a ‘disability perspective’: a clunky term but it means you see their challenging behaviour as symptoms of a health problem rather than as a moral failure or character flaw. Some maturity is required but even children can often grasp this notion when it is explained to them.

2. They stand firm.  A mental health challenge can dominate a family. Parents and partners can become exhausted and children can feel neglected.  Wider whānau can be brilliant in stepping in and providing care for the care-givers, ‘filling gaps’ and giving practical support.

3. Boundaries. All healthy relationships have boundaries – we cannot feel safe without them. Sometimes a person with a mental health problem loses their sensitivity around the normal boundaries that exist within family life, and make excessive demands on time and resources, or be intrusive in their behaviour or neglectful of their obligations. Even with a ‘disability perspective’, it is important for families to keep all their members safe with boundaries that are defined and defended in a firm, fair and friendly way.

4. They care. They keep us motivated, to keep working on recovering our health, and on-track with our therapy and medication. And they notice if our health is taking a dive and can get the help we need. 

5. They are staunch advocates. Family members are usually our most loyal supporters. A person with mental and emotional problems often has to navigate through financial and legal issues, and deal with multiple agencies and medical professionals: family can be so helpful in keeping us from getting lost and overwhelmed. We all know that sometimes to get the best help we need to persist and keep asking – family can do that for us even when we feel exhausted. 

6. The are resilient. Mental unwellness almost guarantees challenges for family life. Sometimes our mental unwellness takes us away from our families for a while; and sometimes families can become wounded.  But, just like bodies and minds, families can heal and recover. Relationships can heal.

7. They love and accept. Everyone needs to feel safe, loved and feel that they belong.   In that environment, most of us thrive and, if we have been unwell, it gives us a great place to recover.



These blogs are offered with the sincere hope that they will be beneficial to people with mental health challenges, their families and the wider public. However, a big lesson from the history of science is that anyone can be wrong! Therefore, this disclaimer: though written in good faith, the authors and publishers cannot guarantee the accuracy of this content, or its applicability to a particular situation.  Any decisions or course of action taken as a consequence of this content must be entirely the reader’s responsibility.  In no way should this content be used as a basis to contradict or ignore the advice of a medical or mental health professional.


Tuesday, October 22, 2019
There are lots of people who can help you when you are unwell. Here are some tips

Which Person Will Help Me Best?

Doctor/Support Worker/Psychiatrist/Psychologist – who and when?

There are lots of people who can help you when you are unwell.  Here are some tips.

  • In emergencies, dial  111, or call the Mental Health Crisis Team https://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/services-and-support/health-care-services/mental-health-services/crisis-assessment-teams. If you or someone you care for is very unwell or suicidal, you can also go to a hospital Accident and Emergency department.

  • If things are bad, a telephone helpline can really assist. There’s a list below, and even more on https://www.mentalhealth.org.nz/get-help/in-crisis/helplines

  • In general, it may not matter which professional you contact first with mental health problems, because if they cannot help you, they will know who will.

  • There are Citizens Advice Bureaus in most centres. They often have information of services and agencies that can help.

  • Your doctor is always a good person to see if you are worried about something. Even though they may not be a mental health specialist, about a third of a GP’s workload has a mental health component, so they will probably understand your mental health challenges quite well.    They can decide whether you need more specialist assistance, and usually have a good idea of agencies and services that you can access. They can also prescribe medicines; even if your medication is usually prescribed for you by a specialist, your GP may be able to help you with something urgent and can also help you get an appointment with your regular specialist doctor.

  • Psychiatrists are doctors who specialise in mental health. They study for many years on top of their regular medical training. They are especially useful in treating serious mental health problems like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. They often prescribe medicines and are involved in making sure medical treatments are working well.

  • Psychologists are not doctors and don’t prescribe medicines; instead, they provide various talking therapies to help with emotional and mental problems. (There are psychologists who don’t do therapy – for example, they may work in business or education; the ones who are especially trained to do therapy with people are called clinical psychologists.)  Psychologists are good at helping people with anxiety, depression, phobias and other mental and emotional problems.

  • Counsellors may or may not be psychologists. Most counsellors have done years of training in psychotherapy, but in New Zealand, anyone can call themselves a counsellor. If they belong to the New Zealand Association of Counsellors, then you can be assured they are professional and qualified (though you may find that the ones who are not part of that association are still very helpful). They help people talk through issues, solve problems, and work out plans of actions

  • Mental Health Nurses, or Psychiatric Nurses, have extensive training in caring for people with mental health problems. They sometimes work in hospitals and clinics, but are also part of mental health support teams in the community. They are qualified to administer some drugs.

  • Mental Health Support Workers are increasingly well trained. Mental health impacts jobs, families and relationships and support workers are particularly skilled at helping people ‘in their world’, helping people with mental health challenges to ‘get their life back’. As well, they ensure people are on-track with receiving the right services and care that they need, and helping people monitor and respond to their symptoms.

National helplines

Lifeline – 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP)

Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)

Healthline – 0800 611 116

Samaritans – 0800 726 666 

Depression Helpline – 0800 111 757 or free text 4202

Youthline – 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email talk@youthline.co.nz or online chat

What's Up – 0800 942 8787 (for 5–18 year olds). Phone counselling is available Monday to Friday, 12noon–11pm and weekends, 3pm–11pm. Online chat is available from 3pm–10pm 7 days a week, including all public holidays. 

Kidsline – 0800 54 37 54 (0800 kidsline) for young people up to 18 years of age. Open 24/7.

Thursday, October 10, 2019
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Our programmes support young people to grow in resilience and the ability to manage their life situations and ultimately support them to shape a positive future.


Equip's Core Values  


4pm Monday, 9 December 2019

apply now

If you have the skills we seek, plus a can do attitude and want to belong to a supportive and engaging team making a real difference in our community, we would love to hear from you!

So if you’re looking for a job that’s more than just a job, download an application pack.  Please quote reference number TLBY on the application.

applications require:

Completed Equip Job Application Form (download an Application Form. ) 
Separate Curriculum Vitae
Cover Letter 
Copy of Driver Licence (front & back)
Copy of photo ID page of passport or NZ full birth certificate
Current Working Visa (if applicable)
Police Vetting form (download here)

Send the above completed forms to:

Email to: 
front.desk@equip.net.nz , or

Personal Delivery to: 
550 East Coast Road
Mairangi Bay
North Shore , or

Post to: 
PO Box 65 385
Mairangi Bay
Auckland 0754

Thursday, November 14, 2019
Working in this field will appeal to you if you are a people person and want to make a positive difference in the lives of others.


If you enjoy working with people, helping them regain the skills and confidence to lead a meaningful life, and you’re practical as well as empathetic, you could be a Community Support Worker for Equip, one of Auckland’s leading Mental Health organisations. 


We’re an independent organisation associated with Windsor Park Baptist Church and have a strong Christian ethos. With a staff of around 80, we are a values led organisation who truly care about the people we work with and for. 

We pride ourselves on our supportive, inclusive culture and our success is making a positive difference in the lives of others. Look at our website to see if you can identify with our values.

about the role

A CSW works in partnership with the other person on goals leading to a satisfying and meaningful life. You’ll also work closely with family and other health professionals involved in their care. 

The Equip head office is on the North Shore, but this position is based with the Equip team in Manukau City office. This position is for 40 hours per week mostly Monday to Friday. You’ll work autonomously with older adults with mental health issues, living in the wider Counties Manukau area. 

You’ll receive a thorough induction and on-going training. Equip will support you to commence relevant training (Level 4 Certificate in Health and Well-being), or you will have completed this already. Higher level relevant qualifications negate this need. Having advanced skills, experience and qualifications in the field of dementia and age related sectors would be an additional advantage.


  • A genuine passion to work with people, being a good listener and communicator
    Be computer literate
    Be a NZ resident or have a valid NZ work visa
    Full NZ driver licence
      Be a team player who is self-motivated and can work autonomously
    To check if your qualification has been assessed as Level 4 Equivalent already please visit this website:
If you have the skills we seek, plus a can do attitude and want to belong to a supportive and engaging team making a real difference in our community, we would love to hear from you!

applications close

4pm Monday 9th December 2019

applications require:

Completed Equip Job Application Form (download an Application Form.) Please quote the reference number OACM on the application.

Separate Curriculum Vitae
Cover Letter 
Copy of Driver Licence (front & back) 
Current Working Visa (if applicable) 
Completed Police Vetting Request form (download here)

Send the above completed forms to:
Email to: 
office@equip.net.nz , or

Personal Delivery to: 
550 East Coast Road
Mairangi Bay
North Shore , or

Post to: 
PO Box 65 385
Mairangi Bay
Auckland 0754

Monday, November 11, 2019
To give you an idea of what kind of things you may be doing as a Support Worker at Equip, one of our staff has summed up a typical day.

To give you an idea of what kind of things you may be doing as a Support Worker at Equip, one of our staff has summed up a typical day.

A day in the life of a community support worker in Equip’s Packages of Care team
I arrive in the morning, make a coffee, check my e-mails and messages, then follow up on messages that I have received. I then enter any notes from the previous day that I haven’t entered, and phone or text my clients to confirm what time I am meeting with them today.

Today I am heading to Red Beach to support a Package of care client with whom I spend 5 hrs per week, which is broken into 2 visits.
• Check in with client asking how their week has been, what activities have they been doing.
• Review goals and tasks set from the last meeting.
• Do an activity that is working towards their goals. (For example, Goal: I want to learn how to food shop independently – We may go to the supermarket to learn this skill or catch a bus with the client as another step to completing their goal.)
• Do some interactive education (education, skills and strategies on how to deal with depression) and community skills modules.
• Sets tasks to do that are working towards their goals.
• Plan activity and time to meet next. (This is very important to do, as it can save you a lot of time trying to contact the person and organize a time to meet next, then negotiating what you are going to do with them!)

Next I am heading back to head office to meet with a client that is a Community Support Work Client (whom I support for about an hour a week). This client I will do much the same as the first client except keeping in mind that I have only one hour so I generally will follow a similar agenda to the previous meeting. This time though, we are going to be going through some interactive education about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with their family.

I have a lunch break, before heading to my next client that needs support with WINZ, followed by a review meeting with the treatment team.

Then I am heading back to the office to complete my admin, time sheets for the day, write notes about the meeting with clients what was achieved and the plan for the next meeting, and follow up on phone messages and e-mails.

What I love about this job is that no two days are the same!

A day in the life of a community support worker in the Older Adults Team
Working with Older Adults in Mental Health can be different in the sense that a physical disability can accompany a mental problem or bring about a mental illness. For example, if someone is suffering from a major depressive disorder, this may have been brought about because of a diagnosis with Parkinson Disease which can affect their mobility, their relationships, in fact all facets of their daily life. In addition, Dementia can cause a person to feel frightened, isolated and they can lose their will to live. Suicide rates can be high among the older adult population.

At Equip we try to help Older Adults to maintain their independence, accept and deal with their disabilities and put support services in place that are needed. Sometimes we take them out for an hour or two, help them to recreate old interests or to find new ones. It is about helping them to find value in their lives, and valuing the skills and wisdom they have to share with others.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018
Often we are just too hard on ourselves. It is time to be kind to yourself. Find out how self compassionate you are!
Often we are just too hard on ourselves. Go to this excellent website and do the Self Compassion assessment here. Be kind to yourself today!

Thursday, February 22, 2018
Check out the latest events here! Come connect with us.
Saturday, May 09, 2015
Helping to cope with depression – there is a way through

Information on Depression
Get Self-Help information and strategies from www.depression.org.nz

Feeling Depressed?
Hear How Young Kiwis Got Through Depression. www.thelowdown.co.nz

Saturday, May 09, 2015
"Equip visits have built up my confidence again."
I look forward to my Community Support Worker (CSW)’s visits and the company. More often than not, we have had fine weather to go out and sit in the park. This has built up my confidence to get out and back into the community once more. One of the things that has given me great joy and a deep, deep feeling of peace within me is going back to church. Once I expressed this was something I would like to do again, my CSW got Carol to come and visit. Carol found a local church that holds a weekly communion service on a Wednesday. This has meant a lot to me. A bonus good cup of coffee and homemade cake afterward gives me the opportunity to get to know one or two of the other folk there. I am very grateful to Equip for this opportunity and their visits have meant so much to me.

Friday, May 08, 2015
"Kevin’s family love having him closer to them again."

When Kevin first came to Equip he didn’t really have any social contacts and this wasn’t helped by him having no phone or means of communication. Kevin’s first goal was to get a cell phone which he has now and is used to keep in contact with his family.

Over time Kevin was supported by Equip staff to get out of the house and have social contact with his family as he was very isolated living on his own and having no friends... He joined a social group which helped him have some contacts with people who had common interests to himself and it gave him somewhere to go. This led to Kevin going out to visit his friends down the road and had a few visits with his family which he really enjoyed. He said it made him feel really good spending time with family but he didn’t think they would want him to live with them.

Kevin had stated in the past that he wanted to get back into his old work as a builder but hadn’t made any steps towards this. During the visit to his family home he did some building work and discovered how much he had enjoyed doing it. It made him realize that he was capable of working again. Kevin and his support worker problem solved ways to look for and get building work. He ended up finding a job through a friend which he wasn’t needed for in the end but he was really happy about the prospect of getting work and an income.

Kevin’s suppork worker spoke on and off with Kevin’s family members and let them know how much Kevin enjoyed going to their place and spending time with them. In fact Kevin ended up spending Christmas with his famliy whereas normally he would be on his own.

Just recently, Kevin decided to move in with family and is enjoying greater connection with them and his confidence had grown to a point where he was able to make the relocation arrangements himself. Kevin’s family say they love having him closer to them again and are supporting his efforts to get permanent work.

Friday, May 08, 2015
"A lot of situations and things puzzled me."
Hi, I’m Vaoesea and I grew up in Hastings. Just before I went to College I moved with my family to West Auckland and completed my schooling there. When I finished schooling I went to University but struggled and did not cope. I also seemed to be unable to get a job, had no friends, no direction and was shy and lacking in confidence. And for some reason I was angry all the time. Something was not quite right but I didn’t know what it was. I ended up seeing a Psychiatrist and despite this was having trouble communicating with my family. I would head off for long walks in the bush and one night spent the whole night sitting under a tree in the Waitakeres.

I guess if I was to describe how I felt at the time, it was that I was angry a lot and also I started to experience a sensation of dreaming while I was awake. The things I dreamed about felt real but over time I got to realise that they weren’t. A lot of situations and things puzzled me.

This all came to a head one day when I had an argument with my mother and went to the Police to make a complaint against her. The Police got a Doctor to come and check me out. I was taken in a Police car to an inpatient mental health unit, put in isolation and strip searched. It was very degrading and frightening. And I struggled with being separated from family.

After a period of time I came out of the hospital and went back home. I became fascinated and absorbed by the war in Kuwait.

Eventually I moved into what was called a ‘therapeutic community’ in the city where I lived in a big house with a number of other people who had mental health issues. While there I got my first job in a lunch bar in Queen Street but had to leave it because it did not work out.

I left the community and followed my boyfriend up to Whangarei but unfortunately we broke up soon after and my Mother and brother had to come up and get me and I was once again admitted to an inpatient unit for a time. It was during that second stay that I got offered some therapy which I found calming and helpful.

After leaving the unit I went back to the therapeutic community and learnt how to be a reliable flatmate, budget and socialise.

Eventually, I got the chance to move into a three bedroom flat with two other people who received support from a mental health support service. This time things went better. I got a cleaning job which I seemed to manage quite well and was able to hold on to.

Things change a lot in mental health services but a change that was good for me was that the flat we were in became available for us to rent independently. We all got our names on the lease and each of us received support from Equip. This was the first time in 15 years that I felt I had some real independence. I got well enough to not need support at all.

When I heard about the Client Advisor role coming up at Equip I was encouraged by others to apply. Whilst I did not think I probably had the confidence or skills to do the role something urged me to give it a go.

I have been in that role for five years and have been stretched and learnt a lot. Because my job is on the North Shore I decided to move there and most weekends I spend with my brother at his place.

Who would have thought that the University drop out is now advising an organisation with 60 staff and 220 clients how to put the person at the centre of their services and giving that service feedback from service users as to what is working and what is not.

Who knows what else I can do – it will be exciting to find out.

Friday, May 08, 2015
"Equip gave me hope and a sense of progress when I had none"
It was hard waiting for such a long time in hospital but Equip staff really gave me and my mum hope that one day I would get out and have my own flat and a job.  They helped me work on my CV and confidence skills and while the waiting for somewhere to live took awhile, I worked on these things.  My mum was involved too and she offered me a lot of support and she and Equip worked together.  Through Equip I got to see a Dietician every week and she helped me to lose weight and get fit.

I am out of hospital now and whilst I am in supported accommodation I know that eventually I will get my own flat and a job.

Equip gave me hope and a sense of progress when I had none.


Friday, May 08, 2015