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 and join the Our Voice committee for soup and connection on Monday 5 August 2019.
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
/images/News/OurVoice logo.jpg
A free six-week program to give you skills and strategies to support you to manage your own health and well-being.
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
/images/MyLifeMyHealthSNIP August 2019.JPG
A grief education programme for adults bereaved by suicide.
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
/images/News/Waves 2019.JPG
Join us for morning tea as we walk beside you on your journey of faith.
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
/images/News/Journey-of-Faith.JPG
1 in 5 NZ adults experience mental illness in any year. Would you know how to respond?
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
/images/News/MHFA.JPG

Good days. Bad days. High. Low. That is how we ride through life, with our moods going up and down for various reasons, or for no particular reason that we can see at all. All of us have days when we would like to give our emotions the day off but, in general, we don’t swing very high, nor do we plummet that low – our moods seem to stay within limits.   But if we have Bipolar Disorder, our moods go beyond those limits. The disorder has lots of variations but, typically, a person gets so high they are called ‘manic’. They might feel great: full of energy, often with plans and schemes and full of optimism. They would never say they are unwell, but people close to them can tell things are not right. Their behaviour is often rash and illogical, they can go on wild spending sprees or do reckless and impulsive things.  Sometimes they can become angry and argumentative, and at times they leave reality behind, believing great things about themselves, or imagining they have amazing abilities or special relationships with famous people, or other signs of psychosis. The flip side of this is that they drop into depression (which is why Bipolar Disorder used to be called Manic-Depression).

As mentioned above, there can be lots of variations: sometimes the manic phase is not very elevated, sometimes the person cycles rapidly between the moods, and so on.

It can be a very serious and scary mental illness. Fortunately, medication can help us both in the manic and depressive phases, and also help us to stay well between episodes.  Therapy helps us to avoid the triggers that tip us into unwellness.

Not uncommonly a person will recover from an episode but will be left with staggering debts and other consequences of their manic phase. It can put terrible stress on our relationships and family. Support services are very important for those of us with Bipolar Disorder. As well as helping us manage our medication (which often needs to be closely monitored to ensure the correct dose), support services help with accommodation, employment and rebuilding life skills that are needed for healthy, happy living.  

Some things that help:

·         Get a good diagnosis. Typically, there can be years between first symptoms and diagnosis

·         Educate yourselves and your family.  The more that family and friends are aware, the more they can help

·         Watch for triggers, especially stress.

·         Stay on meds. By all means, get your medication reviewed and finetuned, but it seems to be very risky to come off medication, especially rapidly.

·         Be optimistic. With a combination of good strategies, therapy, medication and support, a person with Bipolar Disorder can realistically expect to have a good and fulfilling life.

For more advice, check out

https://www.healthnavigator.org.nz/health-a-z/b/bipolar-disorder/

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/bipolar-disorder/living-with-bipolar-disorder.htm

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, July 10, 2019
/documents/happy sad.jpg

Developing mental problems is not a normal part of getting older. The risk of dementia does increase with time but, even in our nineties, the vast majority of us can look forward to our brains still working pretty well.

For some people, though, their retirement years are harder and sadder than they should be because of depression. It may be as common as it is among young adults. It is often undiagnosed. Depression is more common in people who are widowed, have lost mobility and have other health problems.

That’s bad news; the good news is that depression in older people seems to respond very well to treatment. More than 80% will get significantly better. The problem can be actually getting them to seek the therapy they need.  Older people are often reluctant to seek help. They will go to a doctor for aches and pains in their bodies but not for the pain in their emotions. More people in the 50-64 age range report mental health problems than people older than 65 but is that just because the older they get the more likely they are to ‘suffer in silence’? Are they paralysed by old-fashioned ideas about mental health? Do family and carers just attribute their withdrawal and glum silence to  ‘old age’?

Here are some tips:

Depression is under-diagnosed in the elderly. Don’t just expect or accept persistent sad moods in yourself or the elders you care about. 

Just because older people get a lot of practice at going to funerals, it does not mean they are automatically better at coping with grief and loss. Losing partners and friends can result in deep and troubling pain that may take a long time to heal. It can be helped with support and counselling.

Social support and activity seems to be a key way to stave off depression. The more visitors, trips, groups and activities the better!

Older people deserve respect and should maintain control over their own lives as long as they wish; however, those who love them should be persistent in urging them to get the help they need. Their apparent stubbornness may actually be anxiety, so support and information may work better than just nagging.

Pay particular attention to an elder’s mental health after they lose mobility or if they are facing some other health challenge.

Modern technology offers wonderful opportunities for elders to socially interact. It takes patience to teach social media skills, but it sounds like an ideal task for grandchildren!

Check hearing aids. A survey of older people in rest homes showed that a large proportion couldn’t communicate easily because of hearing problems. This was often because of poorly maintained hearing aids or flat batteries or an inability to put them on.

Physical health and mental health are so connected. Treating one often helps the other. Both deserve prompt attention if something is amiss. Staying active, eating well, avoiding alcohol and smoking and engaging socially seem to be the best things for both our bodies and our minds.

Older people may need assistance in finding out about and accessing support services. Don’t assume that there isn’t more available. Check the websites below or Citizens Advice.

The huge majority of older people are actually happy with life and do not suffer from mental problems, and those who do have mental health problems should expect to recover. Old age may be tough at times, but let’s help ourselves and the elders we care about to enjoy the best mental health possible.

 

Some good information can be found on

www.ageconcern.org.nz 

superseniors.msd.govt.nz 

www.eldernet.co.nz 

 

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.

 

Friday, July 05, 2019
/documents/Couple sitting on a bench.jpg

Mental illness is not contagious in the normal sense. However, if we are carers for someone with mental health issues, we know it can be stressful. That stress can, in turn, lead to the carers becoming mentally unwell themselves.   Here are some tips to help caregivers care for themselves as well:

  1. 1.       Caring for yourself is caring for them. To handle the stress and to give top quality care, you need rest, recreation, friendship and support. This is not selfishness – this is doing your best to help provide the best care. No one has enough time or money, but budget at least some of it to get a break, get some exercise, eat good food and meet people outside your home. If you are a caregiver, the one you care for needs you in top shape. You are an important resource – you deserve maintenance.

  2. 2.       Spread the load. You may be willing to be the principle caregiver but you need others to step up as well. It may be that family members are taking advantage of your willingness to help and abdicating their responsibilities to provide some care as well. Time to swat up on your assertiveness skills! Maybe you will need to find someone who will be an advocate and help you make the requests
  3. 3.       Educate family and friends. Ignorance leads to fear. Many people are afraid of mental illness, and others fear they wouldn’t know what to do. And so they stay away and don’t help. With some insights and information, many more people could become willing and really helpful. However, protect privacy: it is usually necessary to get the permission of the person you are caring for  before you disclose anything about their health problems.
  4. 4.       Have Plan B. Huge amounts of stress come from worrying about whether you will be available or well enough to handle incidents. Having back-up people and support ‘ready-to-roll’ can be hugely helpful, even if you never call on them.
  5. 5.       Line up your own support. You need to know what agencies and emergency services are available if you need them, but you also need mates. Let friends know that occasionally (or regularly!) you are going to need them to take you out for coffee and give you time out with them to recharge.
  6. 6.       Get time out, and time away.  It’s amazing what we can cope with when we can see light at the end of tunnel and know that there is a break coming up.  The person you are caring for deserves a carer that is healthy and refreshed. They will benefit so much when you take care of yourself. Never feel guilty or neglectful for accessing respite services or arranging other carers so you can take a break.
  7. 7.       Act promptly about your own health needs.  Being strong for someone else doesn’t mean that you should endure mental or physical problems without getting help. Doctors and counsellors are not just for the people we are caring for!
  8. 8.       Beware of false comforts. If we feel trapped in our role, and we lack money for pastimes and other fun, it is so easy to turn to drinking, over-eating, smoking and maybe even doing drugs to provide a little comfort.  You do need comfort and recreation, but you need the ‘real thing’ and not health-robbing imitations.  
  9. 9.       Tap into resources. There are many websites with good ideas on how to care for someone with mental health problems, and also how to take care of yourself, such as www.thefamilycaregiver.org , www.caregiving.org, www.eldercare.com, www.Copmi.net.au, www.headspace.org.au and www.thelowdown.co.nz.
  10. 10.   Are you getting all the resources you are entitled to? It pays to check, and check, and recheck that you are receiving the benefits and support services you are entitled to.  Citizens Advice and your doctor can often help, but so can https://www.familyservices.govt.nz/directory/ (or phone 0800 211 211)
  11. 11.   Know that you are important! We may not get paid much for it, or even get paid at all, but the service we provide is vital. Caring like this can be so under-appreciated, but we know why we are doing it. Acting out of love, loyalty and a desire to do the right thing is genuinely rewarding, even if those rewards don’t make it into our wallet!



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, June 27, 2019
/documents/wp-hugs-featured-image.png
We are looking for people to join our dynamic team for the awake overnight position to provide support to guests during the hours of 10:30pm – 07:30am on Thursday to Sunday nights.
 



Koromiko House is a leading mental health respite service, providing a safe, calm, 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.

We are looking for people to join our dynamic team for the awake overnight position to provide support to guests during the hours of 10:30pm – 07:30am on Thursday to Sunday nights. There is an on call Team Leader available at all times should you need any extra support.

This role is varied and unique as you will be responding to the needs of the guests staying.  You will need to have a holistic focus and the people skills to support people in their recovery by encouraging good sleep routine, listening and supporting with strategies when they are unable to sleep or distressed, and to respond to any challenging situations as they arise. You will also be completing some basic administration and IT tasks and doing some household tasks to maintain the house cleanliness.

WHO ARE WE LOOKING FOR?

The ideal applicant(s) will be a calm, caring, and conscientious person who works well for extended times by themselves. They will need excellent listening and communication skills and a willingness and interest in supporting people with their recovery.  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, addictions, or disability work would be an advantage.

  • You will need to have NZ residency or a valid NZ work permit

  • You’ll receive a thorough induction and on-going training.

  • Most importantly, we are looking for a team player with a can do and resilient 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

If we can say ‘yes’ we will

      • Our people matter


MORE INFORMATION

Job Description
Equip's Core Values 

APPLICATIONS CLOSE

4pm Monday 22nd July 2019


apply now

If you are looking for a job that provides you with a great team and an opportunity to have a hands-on role supporting others, download an application pack from our website: www.equip.net.nz.  Please quote reference number KOROAN 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: 
office@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, July 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 22nd July 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: 
office@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, July 03, 2019
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 22 July 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

Friday, June 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