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Connecting care: improving service transitions – Kolini Baker’s story

Mental health & addiction quality improvement
26 May 2021

When Kolini Baker’s partner died, her world fell apart. She became depressed, addicted to methamphetamine, lost custody of her children and lost her home.

On trying to access mental health and addiction support to stop taking drugs, she found it very difficult to get into a mental health and addiction service, as she says there was little formal assistance available for those who were still using methamphetamine and/or other drugs.

Her mother brought her home to Whanganui and, following a time in Whanganui District Health Board (DHB) mental health and addiction services, Kolini transitioned to the support of a kaupapa Māori community provider, Te Oranganui. At Te Oranganui, with the help of her whānau, Kolini has managed to get further help with her depression and her addiction, to stay off of drugs. Kolini has been drug-free for three years and has been supported by her key worker who became ‘like a second mother’ to her along the way.

The value of a kaupapa Māori community support organisation like this, has now resulted in her being able to ‘self-refer’ if she feels she is becoming unwell and this, in turn, allows her to get help before her condition deteriorates.

The mission statement for Te Oranganui is ‘Korowaitia te puna waiora, hei orange Motuhake mō te iwi – Empowering whānau into their future.’

Te Oranganui was established in 1993 to improve access and service delivery of health services to Māori in the Whanganui Region.

As Kolini says in her story: ‘(It) made me safe from the world, like I was someone…there was help for people like me, I wasn’t alone.’

Watch Kolini's story here.

Connecting care: improving service transitions

Te tūhono i ngā manaakitanga, te whakapai ake i ngā whakawhitinga ratonga

The ‘Connecting care: Improving services transitions’ project is looking at ways to improve the processes around transitions of care between mental health and addiction services so consumers and whānau receive continued support.  The focus is on three main transition areas:

  • From DHB adult inpatient specialist services to DHB adult community services
  • From DHB community services to primary care
  • From DHB youth community services to DHB adult community services

Find out more here:

Mental Health & Addiction Quality Improvement - Programme home page


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