Taranaki DHB partner with Whakarongorau Aotearoa NZ

2 August 2021

Taranaki DHB’s Mental Health and Addiction Service’s Assessment and Brief Care (ABC) Team are partnering with telehealth service, Whakarongorau Aotearoa NZ, to help people phoning for support.

Taranaki DHB Rosemary Clements says this will ensure all calls from people in Taranaki seeking urgent mental health support are answered in a timely manner and to provide faster appropriate responses to people’s needs.

"The ABC Team provide 24/7 on site and mobile mental health assessments, and respond to more than 450 calls per month. They also work with general practitioners, Taranaki DHB Emergency Departments, Taranaki Police, and other social service agencies that may have concerns regarding a persons’ mental health.

“Outside of office hours the team only consists of two clinical staff and cover all of Taranaki which means they can be very busy, required to travel long distances and are often outside of mobile phone coverage. This has sometimes meant they have been unable to answer their phone immediately which we know can be distressing for the people seeking help,” says Rosemary.

Whakarongorau Aotearoa is an experienced provider of many telephone-based health services, including the ‘1737 Need to Talk’ mental health support line, and already provide the same service to 11 other DHBs.

Rosemary says, “Whakarongorau Aotearoa employ experienced mental health and addiction clinicians who will carry out a brief initial assessment over the phone and either liaise with the ABC team as soon as they are available, or redirect the caller to a service more appropriate to their needs.

“As well as providing faster telephone responses this partnership will enable ABC clinicians to spend more time working face-to- face with people in crisis and with high levels of distress.”

Taranaki DHB will implement this change on Monday 2 August 2021.

The ABC phone number will not change: 0508 292 467 and will direct callers to follow the voice prompts.

It is important to remember that when any person is in immediate danger you should phone 111.


Last updated: Monday, August 2, 2021

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