More young people (18 – 25) with mild-moderate mental health conditions will be able to access a wider range of age appropriate support faster, through a new Ministry of Health initiative called Piki.
The pilot will be rolled out initially in Porirua then across Wellington, the Hutt Valley and Wairarapa regions. Piki is expected to be in full operation across the three DHBs of the Greater Wellington region by the end of the year.
Te Awakairangi Health Network Chief Executive Bridget Allan welcomes the initiative. “We know how important is it for our young people to access services early and to get the right help with their mental health issues,” she said.
“Over the next few months, we will be expanding our primary mental health team so that they can provide support to more of the young people of the Hutt Valley with mental health issues. We are pleased to be working with Tū Ora Compass Health and other partners to deliver this innovative pilot.”
Media statement from Health Minister Dr David Clark
“It’s not always easy for younger people to navigate the challenges they face, or to know where to turn to for help when they need it. Free access to counselling services and other mental health support for 18 to 25 year olds will make a real difference,” David Clark said.
“Three quarters of all lifetime cases of mental illness are developed by 24 years of age. By intervening early to support good mental health and wellbeing we can help prevent small problems becoming major issues.
“The Piki pilot is designed to do just that. It will cater to people that might otherwise struggle to get help because they can’t afford it, the services aren’t appropriate, or because their needs aren’t recognised. The initiative aims to strengthen existing services, expand access options and the range of therapies available for this group of young people.
People will be able to access the pilot through many methods – self-referral, contact through the Government-funded mental health support line 1737, seeking help from DHBs or their GP, school referrals and many others.