Counties Manukau Health opens new Tiaho Mai Mental Health Unit

Media release 22 November 2018 | Health Minister David Clark today opened Stage One of Counties Manukau Health’s new $57 million Tiaho Mai Mental Health Unit.

Stage One is a world-leading, patient-centred 38-bed adult mental health inpatient facility that increases much-needed capacity for acute inpatient mental health treatment in Counties Manukau, according to General Manager Mental Health at Counties Manukau Health, Tess Ahern.

The unit was developed within the grounds of the existing Middlemore Hospital site using a co-design approach, meaning service users themselves were able to contribute their ideas to the creation of the facility.

“Key to the unique new building were the many families, staff and cultural groups consulted throughout the design and build. Several visits to other inpatient units both in New Zealand and Australia were also organised. As a result we are delighted to be able to provide our population with a safe, state-of-the-art facility that ensures the best acute mental health care possible remains within the local community,” Ms Ahern says.

The design of the new Tiaho Mai incorporates natural light and space, with large rooms and corridors adding to the sense of spaciousness. Ms Ahern says the courtyard model helps improve safety and visibility within the Unit but also ensures everyone can access outdoor spaces and fresh air without needing fenced external areas.

Safety for both service users and staff is a big focus of the new facility. The design and technology features in rooms, corridors, courtyards and shared areas promote privacy and safety.  

Some 55 per cent of Tiaho Mai service users identify as Maaori, and CM Health’s commitment to Maaori health is apparent in the service’s design.

Tiaho Mai contains many cultural elements, including a modern whare and wharekai, tukutuku and carvings connecting to past and present Manawhenua and promoting Maaori mental health leadership.

“What we have achieved is a facility so advanced from the mental health wards of years gone by. We believe that together here in Counties Manukau we have created a building fit for the future that will make a significant difference in supporting and promoting mental health wellness and recovery.”

Stage Two of the project will begin in early 2019 and when that is completed Tiaho Mai will be able to accommodate 76 patients.

Issued by:  CM Health Communications

Media Line:  09 250 9857

Posted in media release;

mental health

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