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.

Come join the Our Voice committee for board games and connection.
Tuesday, April 30, 2019
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Join us for morning tea as we walk beside you on your journey of faith.
Tuesday, April 30, 2019
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Skills and strategies to support you to manage your own health and well being
Tuesday, April 30, 2019
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1 in 5 NZ adults experience mental illness in any year. Would you know how to respond?
Tuesday, April 30, 2019
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A grief education programme for adults bereaved by suicide.
Tuesday, April 30, 2019
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It feels good to be with the ones we love, and we feel sadder when they are away from us. That’s perfectly normal. We might worry about their welfare and feel a little anxious without their company and support - that would be normal as well. But for some people that Separation Anxiety climbs right off the scale and it makes life an agony. A person with Separation Anxiety needs the constant reassurance of someone’s presence. It’s usually someone like their partner or child but the anxiety can also be related to a much-loved pet.

They intensely dread that that person will leave and will sometimes invest a lot of energy into preventing them from doing so. When the other person does leave, someone with Separation Anxiety can be distraught, wracked with fears about that person’s safety or their own safety, or with doubts about whether they will ever return.  Sometimes they need to know where someone is all the time that they are apart.  The anxiety can manifest itself in physical symptoms such as headaches, sore throats and nausea. It can be a truly tormenting and a genuine mental health problem.

As is true with many phobias, Separation Anxiety is resistant to logic: everyone around them can see the fear is irrational but, despite their reassurances, the emotions can still surge. Friends, family and others may not understand and may not be sympathetic. “This is silly!”  What seems silly to the onlooker is the sufferer’s reality. They will accuse them of being manipulative, clingy, mistrustful, controlling and overprotective. They will urge them to ‘cut the apron strings’ and not to be a ‘helicopter parent’. These people may be observing correctly but they are interpreting wrongly. They do not recognize that these behaviours stem from anxiety rather than from a need to control.

It was thought Separation Anxiety was just a childhood problem but it is now recognized as being a real issue for some adults as well.  Like many mental health issues, Separation Anxiety often arrives as part of a package: very frequently sufferers have other anxiety issues, OCD, phobias and other mental health challenges. It affects women more frequently than men, and commonly they have experienced trauma or abandonment in their childhood.    

Adult Separation Anxiety can be triggered by a divorce or a child leaving home, and typically lasts six months or longer.

Anti-anxiety medication does provide relief from the symptoms but, as is nearly always the case with this type of medication, it is best used only for a short period of time. That time though, can be a useful window of opportunity to start therapy to deal with the cause.   A person’s Separation Anxiety probably does not have much to do with the person or animal their anxiety has focused on. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has been shown to be very effective in treating anxiety.

As well as being awful for the person with the anxiety, this problem can be very hard on the person being fixated on. Both of them need lots of sympathetic support.


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, May 22, 2019
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When I am watching an action movie with car crashes, explosions, gun fights etc., I occasionally think, “Those people are going to need a lot of help to get over that!” Amazingly, Hollywood never shows James Bond sitting in a counsellor’s office talking about his persistent anxiety after all the stressful events he goes through. Real people, though, do get impacted by terrifying events like car accidents, robberies and assaults, medical emergencies and natural disasters. Nearly everyone will be ‘jittery’ for a while; after the initial surge of adrenaline fades it is normal to be upset, anxious, tearful and to have trouble sleeping.  Fortunately, most people recover steadily – the swirling thoughts and unpleasant feelings settle over days and weeks. However some people develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), an Anxiety Disorder that persists for months, even years, after the event. The person may find themselves really troubled by anything that reminds them of the event, and they will spend a lot of energy avoiding those cues. When they are triggered, they find themselves experiencing the terrifying emotions of the event all over again.

After the Vietnam War it was estimated that about 250,000 American military veterans had some PTSD. They might tremble at the sound of a helicopter, throw themselves on the ground when a car backfired, and feel terrible emotions if they heard a baby cry. Some became recluses living alone in remote areas; many sought relief from drugs and alcohol.

Sexual assaults, kidnappings and warfare are particularly likely to precipitate PTSD, but it can also occur well away from battle fields and crime scenes. Heart attacks, operations, child-birth and miscarriages traumatise some people. Even events happening to loved-ones can cause PTSD; for example, parents of children diagnosed with cancer can develop PTSD. It seems psychological stress, and not just physical threats, can trigger it as well.

Sympathetic support for people after a trauma seems to help prevent PTSD, and counselling as soon as symptoms occur can help a lot. Some drugs have proved to be very helpful in relieving PTSD, though excessive benzodiazepines (like Valium) tend to make it worse. Understandably, many people seek relief from their painful emotions by self-medicating with alcohol and other drugs; sadly that tends to just create additional addiction and psychological problems.   That does tend to be a thing with PTSD: it is often part of a ‘mix’ of complex psychological issues – about half of people with PTSD also meet the criteria for major depression.  The only good side of that is counselling that helps people with their PTSD often seems to alleviate their other problems as well.

Good therapy, the right drugs and sympathetic support make a huge difference for people with PTSD.  It can be treated. We never chose the trauma that caused it, but we can choose to actively get through it!


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, May 08, 2019
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Phobia, Social Anxiety,

A lot of us are shy. We get anxious meeting people at functions, stammer when asking someone out on a date and we dream of a convenient illness that would get us out of doing a presentation at work. That is quite normal.  The thing that distinguishes regular, common-or-garden shyness from true Social Phobia (or Social Anxiety Disorder) is that we don’t normally let our shyness stop us doing important things in our life. A shy person might not put their hand up for karaoke, but they wouldn’t let their shyness stop them taking up a good job.   Someone with social phobia fears being judged or rejected far more intensely. It stops them expressing themselves, robs them of romantic relationships and even interferes with things like shopping.  It is actually one of the most common phobias around but you might not notice it: the nature of the phobia literally keeps sufferers out of sight.

Like all phobias, the distressing emotions of terror are almost completely unjustified and, just like all phobias, knowing that doesn’t seem to help very much!  A socially phobic person sometimes gets trapped in a double bind – as well as fearing the actual social situation, they become intensely afraid of their phobia ‘turning up’ and embarrassing them by causing blushing, stuttering, freezing or a panic attack.

Sometimes this phobia has arisen from a trauma – abuse or some intense public humiliation. There can be a tendency for it to run in families, and it is quite often associated with other mental health issues.   Social phobia can lead people to ‘hit the bottle’ or self-medicate with other drugs to ease their anxiety. Very often the phobia leads to intense loneliness and depression as well. Despite it being a very serious, debilitating and uncomfortable phobia, socially phobic people are typically very reluctant and slow to seek help. The very nature of the phobia makes us too afraid to seek help. If you, or someone you care about, possibly has social phobia, here are a few things you need to know:

1.       Help helps! Therapies like CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) can make a huge improvement.

2.       Therapy will not be as scary as the phobia. Social phobia will make the idea of going to a counsellor or doctor seem terrifying! Realise that beyond the hurdle of that appointment lies the hope of relief from that phobic fear that distresses you so often.   A phobic person knows that they need amazing courage every day just to function; here is just one more situation where you need to be a hero!

3.       Therapy is not traumatic.   Some people with phobia fear that a therapist will push them straight into terrifying situations. Yes, some therapies do gradually expose a person to the threatening stimulus but it is always done gradually, gently, and with the client in control.  Any therapist who thinks “throwing them in the deep end” is a good cure would not be in business long!

4.       Drugs can be useful.  There are no magic wands, but there are very useful medicines that can ease anxiety.

5.       Support and education.  People with Social phobia really benefit from support as they gain confidence in a widening range of situations. With good strategies plus an empathetic support person, we can astound ourselves!

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, May 01, 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 27 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)
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: 
Equip
550 East Coast Road
Mairangi Bay
North Shore , or

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

Tuesday, May 14, 2019
We are looking for an enthusiastic person, who enjoys working with the families/whānau of people who experience mental illness.





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:

We are looking for an enthusiastic person, who enjoys working with the families/whānau of people who experience mental illness. You will be working autonomously with families/whānau living in the North Shore, West Auckland and Rodney areas, providing practical support and education, as well as linking them with other community organisations and resources. This position is for 20 hours per week and can potentially be made full time by working as a Community Support Worker in one of our other teams..

You’ll receive a thorough induction and on-going training. This position requires that you will have the Level 4 Certificate in Health and Wellbeing or a higher relevant qualification. You will be experienced in working one to one with people and be comfortable in facilitating groups.


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
    • Keen to learn about the various groups topics, focusing on supporting families/whānau


APPLICATIONS CLOSE

4pm Monday 27th 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!


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

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

Tuesday, May 14, 2019
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 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 candidate(s) who undertake this part-time awake overnight position will provide support to guests during the hours of 10:30pm – 07:30am on Friday and Saturday nights 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 27 May 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. ) 
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: 
Equip
550 East Coast Road
Mairangi Bay
North Shore , or

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

Tuesday, May 14, 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