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 for morning tea as we walk beside you on your journey of faith.
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
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Skills and strategies to support you to manage your own health and well being
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
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1 in 5 NZ adults experience mental illness in any year. Would you know how to respond?
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
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A grief education programme for adults bereaved by suicide.
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
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Welcome to the 2019 Let's Kick Butt Challenge











Wednesday, April 17, 2019
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Does social media like Facebook make you mentally unwell? A quick scan of opinions on the net (including Facebook!)  would have you believing that social media causes everything from bad breath to meteor strikes! The good news is that much of the panic you might hear isn’t actually justified. For example, some big studies of both teenagers and young adults show that using social media probably does not cause depression[1]. However, social media is such a new thing in our society that some of the long-term effects are not clear yet. Here are few thoughts about social media and mental health.

  1. 1. Social media is wonderful! 
  2. It is now the top form of entertainment for masses of people of all ages. It connects us, helps us communicate and often makes us smile. It can help us access help and to join communities. That’s got to be good for our well-being.
  3. 2. Like a lot of wonderful things, we can have too much of a good thing.
  4.  Just as people get hooked to the point of addiction on good things like food, sex, exercise, study, etc., some people become obsessed with social media[2]. That’s NOT good for our mental health.
  5. 3.If  I am looking at Facebook, I am not asleep.
  6.  One the (many) downsides of mental illnesses is that our sleep is already disturbed, and social media like Facebook might seem like a great way to pass our wakeful hours in the middle of the night.  However, the stimulation and the bright day-light coloured light can make our already poor sleep even worse[3]. It switches our brain on so that we don’t feel sleepy. A lack of sleep not only makes us tired, it can tip us into an episode of worse mental health or delay our recovery from it.
  7. 4. It can make people feel lonely.
  8.  This is surprising when, for most of us, social media is the way we stay in touch with friends, but for some people it actually heightens their sense of loneliness[4].
  9. 5. It distorts our view of the world.
  10.  People post on Instagram and Facebook pictures of their parties, their holidays, their new cars and happy family gatherings. People usually only post the ‘peaks’ of their lives, not their valleys. If I am sitting in the middle of my own bleak valley, looking at all those pictures, I could get the idea that everyone is happy and successful except me. In actual fact, everyone has their problems, including a surprisingly large number of people privately battling mental health problems. I am not going to feel glad about their trouble, but it does rescue me from thinking my misery is unique.
  11. 6.‘Active on-line’ means ‘Inactive on-couch’. 
  12. Studies show that heavy users of the internet are, really, ‘heavy’ users. They are far more likely to be over-weight and not getting exercise. Very few things are as good for mental health as being active.
  13. 7. Social media is like a megaphone – it can amplify and broadcast what’s going on in my mind.
  14.   Facebook etc., is a great way to share what we are thinking; if that thinking is a bit ‘crinkly’ at the moment, those crinkles come across loud and clear. Sometimes, I can tell when some of my friends with mental health challenges are starting to slide into a bad patch because of the number of their posts and the things they are posting about.

A final thought: if we are wondering if we are spending too much time on-line or gaming, a good question to ask ourselves is, “What else am I doing?”. If we are exercising, sleeping, mixing with family and friends, doing some chores, being creative, learning, actively relaxing and doing useful things… then we probably deserve some time on the net

[1] The Longitudinal Association Between Social-Media Use and Depressive Symptoms Among Adolescents and Young Adults. T Heffer et al, Clinical Psychological Science , 2019

 [2] Teens, Social Media, and Technology 2018 (2018). Available online at: http://www.pewinternet.org/2018/05/31/teens-social-media-technology-2018/50/ 

[3] https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1541931213601814

[4] www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/modern-mentality/201810/is-social-media-making-you-lonely

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Disclaimer

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.

 


Wednesday, April 17, 2019
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All children will occasionally misbehave. It is part of their job-description! They are learning:

·        • what is appropriate

·       •  assertiveness

·         •sharing and turn-taking

·        • how to get along with others

·        • ways to get what they want and need

·       •  how to get attention

·        • how to handle their emotions and drives

…and all that learning takes time, and they make lots of mistakes on the way. Those mistakes sometimes strike us as ‘naughtiness’ but it is far more helpful to think of it in terms of immaturity.  Good parenting techniques help a lot but sometimes parents have to deal with something more than just immature impulse control. One of the most frequent reasons parents need the services of a child psychologist is ‘Conduct Disorder’.  Children with a conduct disorder don’t just have an occasional slip up in their behaviour, they actually seem completely unable to grasp or follow the rules at home, school or in society.

Conduct disorders, as opposed to ‘normal’ behavioural issues are:

·         •Long lasting

·         •Disruptive to family or school life

·        • Impacts others negatively

Their behaviour is often violent and destructive, and often they have very little empathy for those they hurt. There is no simple answer to why children get like this – brain damage, genes, a disturbed childhood… any and all of these might be the cause. There are various types of conduct disorders so getting a good diagnosis from a specialist helps immensely, for three main reasons

1.      1. You can start the proper therapy. Both drugs and psychotherapy can have good results

2.      2. Schools and agencies can roll out the extra support that both the child and parents are going to need

3.       3.Dealing with conduct disorder as a medical issue instead of just treating them as a ‘naughty kid’ gives you so much more compassion and energy to  persevere. Treating it this way seems to reduce the impact and distress of their behaviour.

‘Bad’ parenting doesn’t cause a conduct disorder but good parenting can certainly help reduce its effects.  A child will be safer from the drugs, dangerous sexual behaviour and self-harm. Good close parenting can also help insulate a child from the one thing that can really cause the disturbing behaviour to skyrocket, and that is falling in with other kids who are already ‘trouble’. So, along with whatever else the specialist might prescribe, give a child with conduct disorder lots and lots of consistency, nurture, good supervision, clear boundaries, love and wise discipline. It all helps nudge the troubled child in the right direction and really reduces symptoms and disturbing behaviour. 

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Disclaimer

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. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019
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In 1943, General Patton visited hospitals in war-time Sicily and saw soldiers suffering from a common form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that was sometimes called ‘Shell Shock’ or ‘Battle Fatigue’.  The general slapped the patients. “I’m not going to have cowards in my army!”  Like many people at the time, he thought mental illness was due to a ‘lack of moral fibre’ and that it was a character flaw. In World War I, such men were sometimes shot as deserters. Thank goodness our culture is starting to show the same sort of compassion to people with mental health problems as it does to people with physical health problems. It is far from perfect, but a lot less people today would consider mental illness to be a moral failure. It is a medical issue and so mocking and condemnation is certainly not appropriate.

But men, themselves, still cling to some ideas that are well past their sell-by date. The most dangerous misbelief is that any emotional weakness is embarrassing and must be concealed. “Harden up! Pull yourself together!” They still believe the old myth that somehow their depression or anxiety is a sign of unmanly failure. As a result, men are much slower to seek help for their mental issues, often suffering far more and for far longer than they need to, because they are ashamed. Men are far more likely to withdraw, or self-medicate with alcohol or drugs (often making things far worse), and men are much more likely to take their own lives. Some men literally die rather than seek help for something that can usually be helped.

Some other aspects of male culture that work against good mental health are:

·         Men measure their self-worth in terms of achievement so they often work too hard, failing to rest and relax

·      • Men drink more alcohol. Mental and physical health both decline as alcohol intake increases

·      •Men can be more isolated. A circle of ‘mates’ is great, but it is much more valuable to have a few deeply trusted close friends.

·      •They have a fear and mistrust of doctors.

·      •Men are private: they seldom talk to each other about any health issues, let alone mental health.

What can we do to help the men in our lives? Here are some tips:

·       •Share stories about mental health, especially good stories of recovery.

·       •  Let’s watch our attitudes and language. If someone hears a hint of mocking or derision when we talk about others with mental health problems, it could make      them even more determined to conceal their own struggles.

·       •  Celebrate and support the campaigns that urge men to seek help.

·       •Ask in a caring way how our friends are doing, and then don’t retreat if they share some pain.

·        •Be supportive of our mates if we know they have been going through a tough time.

·        • Make it easy as possible for people to make the changes and to get the help they need to recover.

·        •Watch each other: are signs of poor mental health becoming evident even though they are trying to conceal it? Gently but firmly nudge men towards the help        that is available. (And this applies to getting help for ourselves as well!)

Some time ago I was helping with the clean-up after hurricane flooding in Australia. Amidst the destruction and mess, it was truly heart-warming to hear muddy, exhausted men checking on each other. “Are you alright, mate?” I heard men were sharing with each other in a very unguarded way about their loss, stress, sadness and sleep problems. And I heard them being grateful that someone asked. I thought, “This is new, and this is healthy. They will get through this with their mates.”   Times are changing for men. They are getting better. 

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Disclaimer

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. 


Thursday, April 04, 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.
 






MORE INFORMATION

Equip's Core Values  

APPLICATIONS CLOSE

4pm Monday 6 May 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)
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: 
Equip
550 East Coast Road
Mairangi Bay
North Shore , or

Post to: 
Equip
PO Box 65 385
Mairangi Bay
Auckland 0754

Wednesday, April 03, 2019
Great part time role on the Shore
 




ABOUT THE ROLE:

Koromiko House is a leading mental health respite service, providing a safe, relaxed, nurturing and home like environment for up to seven guests, who will stay with us on average for periods of between 4 to 10 days.

The registered health professional position is a part time role (8 hours on a Saturday between the hours of 7am and 3pm) we will also be offering the successful candidate opportunities to cover other shifts as needed. You will be part of a team that is active in creating an environment conducive to the wellbeing of the guests staying at Koromiko House.

This role has some unique characteristics in that you will be the lead member of staff and need to have the people skills to support our guests, deal with any emergency situations as they arise, be able to complete some basic administration and IT tasks and do some household cleaning to keep the property to a high standard whilst also support residential support workers to perform their role to a high standard.

You’ll receive a thorough induction and on-going training and given opportunities to engage with the wider Equip Team.


WHO ARE WE LOOKING FOR?

The ideal applicant will be a calm, conscientious people person who works within a team, they will have a person centered approach and align with Equip’s values

You will need to be a registered nurse, registered occupational therapist, registered social worker or dapannz registered as a minimum. Relevant experience in mental health or disability work would be an advantage and you will need to have NZ residency or a valid NZ work permit as well as a full NZ driver licence.

Most importantly, we are looking for a team player with a can do attitude.


.WHO IS EQUIP?

We are an independent mental health Not for Profit organisation associated with Windsor Park Baptist Church and have a strong Christian ethos.  With a staff of around 70, we are a values led organisation who truly care about the people we work with and for.  We pride ourselves on our professionalism, supportive, inclusive culture and our success is making a positive difference in the lives of others.

EQUIP’S STAFF SAY:

“I love the culture at Equip.  I have never known a place where you feel so valued and where you are put first.”

“I took the job to change other peoples’ lives, but it changed mine.”

MORE INFORMATION

Equip's Core Values  

APPLICATIONS CLOSE

4pm Monday 29th April 2019


apply now

Therefore, if you are looking for a job that provides you with a great team, support, work life balance and an excellent remuneration package, download an application pack from our website: www.equip.net.nz.  Please quote reference number KORORHP 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)
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: 
Equip
550 East Coast Road
Mairangi Bay
North Shore , or

Post to: 
Equip
PO Box 65 385
Mairangi Bay
Auckland 0754

Wednesday, April 03, 2019
A CSW works in partnership with the other person on goals leading to a satisfying life. The work entails helping service users reach identified goals and maximise strengths.





EQUIP’S STAFF SAY:

“I LOVE THE CULTURE AT EQUIP.  I HAVE NEVER KNOWN A PLACE WHERE YOU FEEL SO VALUED AND WHERE YOU ARE PUT FIRST.”

“I TOOK THE JOB TO CHANGE OTHER PEOPLES’ LIVES, BUT IT CHANGED MINE.”


WHO IS EQUIP?

We are an independent mental health Not for Profit organisation associated with Windsor Park Baptist Church and have a strong Christian ethos.  With a staff of around 70, 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

ABOUT THE ROLE:

A CSW works in partnership with the other person on goals leading to a satisfying life. You’ll work autonomously with service users living in the community in the North Shore, West Auckland and Rodney areas. The work entails helping service users reach identified goals and maximise strengths.

Hours: Mainly from Monday to Friday with some flexibility required to meet the needs of the service users.

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


WHAT WILL I NEED?
  • 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

APPLICATIONS CLOSE

4pm Monday 29 April 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!


applications require:

Completed Equip Job Application Form (download an Application Form.) Please quote the reference number SH 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: 
front.desk@equip.net.nz , or

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

Post to: 
Equip
PO Box 65 385
Mairangi Bay
Auckland 0754


Monday, April 01, 2019
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.

Tim


Friday, May 08, 2015