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.

Are you thinking about EPOA or guardianship for a loved one? Or what happens when they are placed under the Mental Health Act? Answers to these questions and more from our expert panel
Tuesday, March 26, 2019
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Come join the Our Voice Committee for our monthly network meeting on Monday 1 April 2019, 1:30 - 3:30pm
Tuesday, March 26, 2019
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A grief education programme for adults bereaved by suicide.
Tuesday, March 26, 2019
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Skills and strategies to support you to manage your own health and well being
Tuesday, March 26, 2019
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early diagnose, early signs

You probably have some understanding of autism. Delayed language, odd social behaviour and getting fixated on topics or objects are symptoms most people would think of as typical but there is a whole range of conditions. Some forms are so mild that person can live a full life with very few problems but, for others, autism is a serious disability.

It’s a big topic, but here are just a few points.

·        • There is no autism epidemic. Children on the autistic spectrum do seem to be everywhere, but no: autism is diagnosed more often nowadays because a wider range of conditions are now included under that label, and parents, teachers and doctors are much more aware and vigilant about autism. (I know two men in their sixties who have recently been diagnosed with autism; as children they were considered ‘just odd’ but, today, their condition would have been diagnosed much earlier).

·         •The assertion that vaccination causes autism has been thoroughly debunked.  If you want to learn about this persistent bit of misinformation, see https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/reference/vaccines-and-autism/ .

·         Early diagnosis really helps. Some parents wonder if they should bother, as autism cannot be cured. However, there are therapies and even drugs that can really help, especially if the diagnosis is made early. More than that, parents and teachers can handle a child’s challenges more readily when they understand what they are dealing with.

·        • Autistic children usually show signs even when babies. If you are worried your child is unresponsive, not acquiring language and not reacting to people in the usual way, then do get them checked by your doctor. If you or your partner are on the autistic spectrum, or you have other autistic children, then the odds will be higher that your child will be on the spectrum.  For good information on autism, including signs and symptoms, check out www.mentalhealth.org.nz/get-help/a-z/resource/8/autism-spectrum-disorders

·         Are you on the spectrum yourself? Many people have problems communicating or learning or getting on socially who do not have autism. But many adults are on the autistic spectrum and they benefit from getting a diagnosis. Though your doctor is a good person to start with, someone with expertise in autism can assess you more reliably, especially if you are female. (Women seem to have different symptoms).  

·         •Autism and mental health. The challenges of autism can be stressful, and so it is not surprising that some people with autism also have anxiety, depression or other mental and emotional difficulties.  That is tough, but good support, therapy and maybe medication can really help get people back to better mental health.

·         Autism is considered a disability. Funding can be available to help with the challenges. Check out the  Needs Assessment and Service Coordination provider (NASC).

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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, March 21, 2019
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A simple question: Is mental illness inherited? And the simple answer is, yes, it can be.  And that’s where the simplicity stops. It is a very complex issue, and it leads on to one of the most agonizing dilemmas a person can face: “Should I be a parent?”

Let’s look at a few of the complicating issues.

1.       1. The causes of mental illness are not fully understood, but some problems are known to be caused by injury, illness, infections, trauma and stress.

2.       2. It’s also clear that some mental health problems run in families. What is inherited is often a ‘susceptibility’: mental illness won’t show up until it is          triggered by some trauma or stress. Without the trauma, maybe they would be symptom-free for life.

3.          3.It’s all a matter of odds. If we do have an inheritable mental health problem, we increase the odds that our kids will also have them but nothing is certain.        Mentally unwell parents can have perfectly healthy children, and neurotypical (i.e. ‘normal’) parents can have children with mental health problems. It is                a lottery,but your genes do shift the odds.

This is a huge topic, especially if you are wondering whether or not to have a family. A short piece like this can’t hope to do any more than just raise the flag: “Think about it. Get advice.” Your doctor, psychiatrist or a genetic counsellor (yes, there are people who specialise in this) can help you sort through the issues.

And what if we already have children? Here’s the good news: people with mental illness can and do raise perfectly healthy, whole children.  It might be harder, we might need a bit more support, but be optimistic. Also, our insights gained from our own mental health journey can help us be more intentional about our child’s ‘mental hygiene’:  caring for the emotional and psychological well-being in such a way as to give them the best chance of a happy, healthy mental health.
An extra load we may find we are carrying is the vigilance: every flare of temper or odd bit of behaviour will probably trigger at least a small bit of anxiety, “Is this the start of some mental issue?” And, of course, it might be. Sigh, expect the best but, as things get clearer, get some advice.  Early diagnosis and treatment can make a huge difference to how the road ahead is going to go for us and our child. 

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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, March 13, 2019
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Identify the early warning signs for Mental Health related issues

It’s a drag: episodes of poor mental health have a tendency to recur from time to time.  The only good side of this is that we can learn to recognise the early warning signs, which has lots of benefits.  No one is delighted to feel themselves sliding into another ‘dark patch’, but at least we know what it is. “Why am I feeling and acting like this? Of course! This happened the last time I was unwell!” Part of the distress of poor mental health is anxiety from wondering what is happening to us; if we recognize the early symptoms, that myster at least, is solved. We know what we are dealing with. 

Earlier treatment usually means we can reduce the severity and duration of an episode. With prompt attention to early warning signs we can sometimes ‘head it off at the pass’, and halt the slide into a full-blown bout of poor mental health. Maybe reducing stress, increasing social support, and paying attention to sleep and other routines will be enough to get our life back on to an even keel.

If you or a loved one has mental health issues, it is a brilliant idea to have a strategy already worked out and ready to go at the first signs of a relapse.  Support workers are usually very keen to help you work one out. If we bring family, friends and employers in on our plans ahead of time then they will be prepared to play their part if needed. Childcare, extra support, a safe environment and the help we need to best recover can all be primed and ready. It makes it much easier for the helpers, and it will be much less stressful for us at a time when we definitely don’t need extra stress.

Early warning signs differ from person to person but a few typical ones are:

 •Trying to think, or solving problems, feels confusing and hard work
 •Suspicious, nervous and ‘twitchy’ about people
 •Poor personal hygiene and grooming
 •Isolation from others
 •Work performance takes a dive
 •Feeling depressed
 •Emotions that are ‘over the top’ … or no emotions at all.
 •Sleeping and eating change a lot; maybe too much, maybe too little
 •Memory problems
 •Unusual behaviour
 •Moods that change dramatically
 •Strangely sensitive to smells, sights, sounds or touch
 •Apathy
 •A feeling of being disconnected from the world
 •Ideas and beliefs about oneself or the world that just don’t line up with what others think is real

This list is just for your interest – your own early warning signs might be completely different. Do make a list of your own early warning signs, and take the time to make a plan to activate if those signs happen. At the very least, have a clear idea of whom to call if that ‘unwelcome visitor’ of poor mental health turns up at your place again. 

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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, March 06, 2019
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This part-time awake overnight position will provide support to guests during the hours of 10:30pm – 07:30am to ensure they have a restful night and a relaxing stay at Koromiko House.
 



ABOUT THE ROLE:

Koromiko House provides 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 candidate(s) who undertake this part-time awake overnight position will provide support to guests during the hours of 10:30pm – 07:30am to ensure they have a restful night and a relaxing stay at Koromiko House. There is an on call Team Leader available at all times should you need any extra support.

This role has some unique characteristics in that you will need to have the people skills to sit down and listen to guests when they are unable to sleep, 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. 

WHO are we looking for?

The ideal applicant(s) will be a calm, conscientious people person who works well for extended times by themselves. They will have a person centered approach and align with Equip’s values.

You will need to have or be willing to work toward the Level 4 National Certificate in Health and Wellbeing or have an equivalent qualification. Relevant experience in mental health or disability work would be an advantage. You will need to have NZ residency or a valid NZ work permit as well as a full NZ driver licence.

You’ll receive a thorough induction and on-going training. Having advanced skills and qualifications in the field of alcohol and drugs, as well as relevant experience in mental health or disability work would be an additional advantage.

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 in making a positive difference in the lives of others.

Our values:

We put our faith into action

  • We are a Christian response to need in our community.
  • We are not here to judge, we are here to help.
  • We will always do what we can to address people’s needs and provide the momentum for them to move forward in their lives.
  • This is more than a job. As a team, we are driven by a deep commitment to Christian faith and values. I am committed to doing my part.

.

If we can say 'yes' we will

    • We look for solutions not problems. We have a ‘can do’ attitude.
    • When we have to say ‘no’, we will do it respectfully
    • We are team players. We serve with openness and positivity.

Our people matter

      • At Equip, we are each part of a bigger picture.
      • We value other roles as much as our own.
      • We will do everything we can to raise each other up to achieve outcomes greater than any of us can imagine.
      • We will treat each other well and share the load.
      • We work through issues face to face and, when necessary, get support from our leaders.
      • I will do my part to build a team culture that is inclusive, safe and positive.


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

Job Description
Equip's Core Values 

APPLICATIONS CLOSE

4pm Monday 15 April 2019

apply now

If you are looking for a job that provides you with a great team and support balance, we would love to hear from you!


applications require:

Completed Equip Job Application Form (download an Application Form.) Please quote the reference number KOROAN 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

Tuesday, March 19, 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.
 




LOOKING FOR A JOB WHERE YOU CAN MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE?


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. 

WHO IS EQUIP? 

We’re an independent organisation associated with Windsor Park Baptist Church and have a strong Christian ethos. Look at our website to see if you can identify with our values.

We also have an innovative model of practice and a reputation for supporting and developing our staff. We’re looking for people who thrive on the challenges of this sector and the rewards that it brings.

about the role

A CSW works in partnership with the other person on goals leading to a satisfying 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 don’t need qualifications or experience working in this field. We will train and support you. Equip will support you to commence relevant training (Certificate in Health and Well-Being), or you will have completed this already. Higher level relevant qualifications negate this need.

You will need a genuine passion to work with people, be a good listener and communicator. You will have a ‘can do’ attitude.


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
  • .
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. 
Download an application pack from our website www.equip.net.nz   


applications close

4pm Monday 1 April 2019


apply now


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: 
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, March 11, 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 1st 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

Friday, March 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