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The Star: April 27, 2017

The Star: April 27,

•Pages 23-30 •Page 15 Thursday, April 27, 2017 Home Leisure SHOW June 30 – July 2 EXHIBITORS BOOK NOW & The best read and largest circulating newspaper in Christchurch Mum’s hospital chair crusade PHOTO: MARTIN HUNTER •Story, page 7 vanessa.fleming@starmedia.kiwi 021 914 5656 Mental health unit problems escalate • By Gabrielle Stuart CANTERBURY mental health staff have “formally escalated” problems in a high-needs mental health unit, which has reached crisis-level. They met recently with the Ministry of Health to discuss potential solutions to ongoing problems with violence and overcrowding in the Assessment Treatment and Rehabilitation Unit. Between January 2014 and October 2016 there were about 1000 physical assaults recorded at the unit based at Hillmorton Hospital. People receiving compulsory care or with “severe behavioural disturbance” are treated at the unit. Specialist mental health services general manager Toni Gutschlag told The Star the meeting had been held to discuss challenges at the unit, and to “seek information about capacity across the country.” “How can we better utilise existing services nationally across the country to appropriately match with individual client needs,” she said. She said the Ministry of Health had been asked to help with management of “the complex needs of those being supported.” At a recent meeting with health board members she said the situation was becoming volatile, as full wards made it difficult to separate violent patients from one another. •Turn to page 3