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Published Friday 10 Nov 2017

Free short-term accommodation means family and whānau have a place to stay when visiting young people who are receiving mental health support in Porirua.

John Duncan and Trish Davis outside the flats that provide a home away from home for families and whānau who travel to Porirua to support young people on their mental health journeys.

The Rangatahi inpatient unit provides mental health support for young people from around the region. The Hikitia Te Wairua and Ngā Taiohi units support young people from across the country.

“There’s nothing like having family around when you’re unwell, which is why regular visits are important in people’s recovery,” said national operations manager intellectual disability Trish Davis.

“I’m proud we’re able to offer free accommodation, because accommodation costs can be a barrier that prevents families and whanau visiting from outside the region.”

The accommodation consists of three two-bedroom flats. Each sleeps four people and has a TV, washing machine, and a fully equipped kitchen so families can cook their own meals if they wish.

“The flats are a really great resource, and people really appreciate having a place where they can spend time together and be a family,” said Ngā Taiohi team leader John Duncan.

“We also have staff available to lend support, because these visits can be quite emotional. Whānau have told us the flats are a really lovely place to stay and have described our staff as wonderful, friendly and helpful. They feel really well looked after.”

Flats are available to whanau for up to a week, and nearly 60 whanau have used the flats in the past year. Although primarily for whanau of youth clients, the flats can be used by whānau visiting adult relatives in forensic rehabilitation inpatient services depending on availability.

Media contact: Chas Te Runa – 027 230 9571