Promoting mental health, demystifying mental illness, countering stigma and discrimination

Family Whanau Advisors and Support Groups

The Family/Whanau and Supporter movement in Taranaki has strengthened considerably in recent years.  The major developments have been the increased certainty of funding and the improved regional coverage, particularly in South Taranaki.

Taranaki Health Mental Health Services:
Jim Dickinson
Family/Whanau Advisor
Services based at:
Adult Mental Health Services
Private Bag 2016,
New Plymouth. 4620.
Tel: (06) 753 6139 Ext 8550.  Fax: (06) 753 7715
Hours of Service:
Monday to Friday: 8.30 am to 4.30 pm
The Family/Whanau Advisor role is to:
  • Provide family focussed direction and leadership for all Mental Health Teams. The Family/Whanau Advisor, working with management is responsible for overall establishment of Family/Whanau participation in processes and systems, giving appropriate professional input and advice.
  • The Family/Whanau Advisor will ensure that Family/Whanau participation embraces the Treaty of Waitangi as well as promoting the best clinical practice within the Mental Health Service. Family involvement/consultation is ensured in policy, procedure and process development.
  • The Family/Whanau Advisor conducts regular audits and reviews on different aspects of the Mental Health Service to ensure that family involvement/consultation is recognised by mental health staff.
  • The Family/Whanau Advisor will organise Family/Whanau meetings with staff if requested, and will meet with Family/Whanau on a one to one basis to ensure that Families are getting the correct relevant information that is required, to help support their loved one in recovery.
Taranaki Health has a Family/Whanau Participation Policy to determine and ensure family/whanau involvement in service and adherence to the Family/Whanau Code of Rights.
Family Whanau Participation and Empowerment...
Taranaki District Health Board -  Mental Health Service continues to arrange regular forums for those supporting people with a mental illness to discuss current service provision.  The intention in the future is to increase the scope ad frequency of such forums to provide the opportunity for improved caregiver input into service development.

Services provided:

The Taranaki Branch, one of 21 branches nationwide, provides a range of meaningful activity programmes, and a wide variety of other services.  These include: support meetings for carers; public educational meetings; social activities for consumers; a very popular and successful course called 'Coping with Mental Illness' and an annual 'Schizophrenia Awareness Week.'
A very hard working committee provides support and back up for staff.  They play an enormous part in the strategic development of SF, in monitoring the development of mental health services in Taranaki, in advocating and advising on behalf of families and consumers in ongoing fund raising, and in supporting families and consumers.
SF Taranaki is committed to supporting families/whanau in partnership with treatment providers, and advocates for family interventions as part of all treatment plans.
SF Taranaki
Gareth Andrewes    - Field Worker North Taranaki
Bernie Kira - Field Worker South Taranaki
Kelley MacDonald - COPMIA worker

3rd Floor, Brougham House,
50 Devon St West,
New Plymouth
Tel: 06 757 9300
Current SF Taranaki support groups
New Plymouth support group
1st Monday of month 5.30-7p.m.
TSB Community Trust House
21 Dawson St
New Plymouth.
Rural support group
1st Friday of month 11a.m.-12.30
Hawera Disability Information Centre.

Women's Support Group

Support and Educational Groups in Taranaki
(For those experiencing mental distress and alcohol and drug issues)
Friendship & Fun - Social Activities - Encouragement - Education
Creative Activities - Empowerment
In New Plymouth...
Post Natal Peer Support Group- 1st and 3rd Monday of the month

TDHB Alcohol and Drug Service

F.A.D.S - Family / Whanau Alcohol and Drug Support Group - Peer group for people who support a loved one with alcohol and drug issues. Every Tuesday from 6.00 pm to 7.30 pm at Alcohol and Drug Service, TDHB, with Sue Phillipson AOD Family Advisor Ph 753-7838 ext 7949

Progress to Health
15 Dawson Street
New Plymouth
Tel: 06 757 5549
Arts group - Thurs 10a.m. - 12 noon
Mate's Group - Last Thursday of month 2.00pm to 4.00 pm.(with Kerry)
Craft / Social Group - Please phone Progress to Health for details
Social Group - Please phone Progress to Health for details
Women's Group - Please phone Progress to Health for details

Taranaki Disability Information Centre (TDIC)
28 Young Street,
New Plymouth

Like Minds Taranaki gratefully acknowledges the financial support of this website by the Ministry of Health

Feedback is always welcome





Taranaki Mental Health Sector