Supporting Families in Mental Illness, SF Central Otago, New Zealand - latest news

By: Sf Central Otago  06-Dec-2011
Keywords: Mental Health, Mental Illness, Support Group


18 January Artsenta Visit – Printmaking A
25 January Visit to Pinder’s Pond, Roxburgh S
1 February Garden (treasure hunt & walk from gate) am/ Making pickles, jams, etc. pm Ex


8 February Budget Advice am/Speaker – Children’s Author pm Ed
15 February Trip to Butcher’s Dam –picnic and walk on Flat Top S
22 February Artsenta Visit – Bone carving and perspex A
1 March Tall Poppies ideas – artists demonstrating A
8 March Visit Queenstown (Happiness House and the Gardens) S
15 March Dietician Visit – healthy breakfasts am/Tall Poppies preparation pm Ed


22 March No group – Otago Anniversary holiday  
29 March Artsenta Visit – Painting on objects e.g. wood A
5 April No Group – Easter Monday Ex
12 April Lawn bowls visit am/ Tall Poppies preparation pm Ex  A
19 April Old fashioned sports day Ashworth Street park/Tall Poppies pm Ed  A
26 April Artsenta Visit A
3 May Tall Poppies preparation A & S
10 May Visit to Clyde museum and transport sheds am/Tall Poppies prep pm Ex


17 May Sing Star Day am/Tall Poppies preparation pm S & A
24 May Artsenta Visit - A
31 May Line Dancing Ex
7 June No Group – Queen’s Birthday holiday  
14 June Hobbies Day S
21 June Speaker – Dealing with Grief Ed
28 June Artsenta Visit - A
5 July Pictionary/Scrabble/Monopoly S
12 July Maori Art and Crafts day Ed & A
19 July Maori Art and crafts day continuation Ed & A
26 July Artsenta Visit - A
2 August    
9 August    
16 August    
23 August Artsenta Visit - A
30 August    
6 September    
13 September    
20 September Artsenta Visit - A
27 September    
4 October    
11 October    
18 October Artsenta Visit - A
25 October No Group – Labour Day holiday  
1 November    
8 November    
15 November    
22 November Artsenta Visit - A
29 November    
6 December Trip/picnic  
13 December Christmas Meal  
20 December Artsenta Visit - A
  A = art and craft

S = social

Ed = education

Ex = exercise


Our two main events for Mental Health Awareness Week were very successful with over 50 people participating in the walk along the Rail Trail.

Our speaker was extremely well received – she was very brave sharing her experiences with others. She had some really good suggestions for keeping well strategies – and she reinforced the idea of face the fear and do it anyway. One of the attendees did exactly that when he had to give a speech the next week. Great stuff!

Wednesdays 1pm – 3pm

Are times for discussions or sharing stories / problems and finishing work started at the Sunshine Support Group on a Monday.

Other times there may be a guest speaker or continuation of a previous workshop.

Group staff will be available for you to seek help with advocacy and ask questions or just listen so you can share a problem or an achievement.

If you wish to speak to staff in private let them know in advance so they can arrange for this to happen.

Wednesday 1.00 – 2.00pm

A small exercise group operates. If you would like to go for a walk or bike ride with some one else please let a staff member know so they can arrange it.

We have one spare bike and a helmet if you do not have your own.

Fridays 1pm – 5pm

Are times when you can work on developing skills you may need to return to the work force.

There are two computers and a printer available for you to work on your curriculum vitaes; or staff can arrange for Workbridge staff to show you how a CV is written and presented. We have examples for you to look at also.

There will be opportunities for practice of job interviews – how to present yourself and answer questions in a stressful situation – help you develop strategies for dealing with anxiety in an interview.

Fridays are also days when you can work on any study you may be undertaking – staff will be able to help you with this.

Art and craft projects can be completed using SF Central equipment on these days as well.

Who Can Attend

  • People who have past or present mental health issues.
  • Family members of a person who has or had a mental health issue.
  • Friends, flat mates or workmates of a person who has or has had a mental health issue.

Schizophrenia Fellowship has makeover and steps out as Supporting Families in Mental Illness

“We are pleased to announce that from today (1 July ’09), Schizophrenia Fellowship New Zealand will be known as Supporting Families in Mental Illness New Zealand (Supporting Families),” said Florence Leota, Chief Executive.

Supporting Families was established over 30 years ago and is New Zealand’s largest non governmental organization in the mental health sector that provides support to families/whanau affected by mental illness. It has 21 branches nation-wide and a national office located in Wellington.

“Our organisation is a great supporter of integrated care where the family, clinicians and service providers all work together to provide the best possible recovery plan for those experiencing a mental illness,” said Ms Leota. “We are committed to providing high quality information, education, advocacy and support for families.

“We believe that our new name shows the role we provide to families affected by all serious mental illnesses including schizophrenia, anxiety/panic disorders and bipolar,” Ms Leota said.

The Associate Minister of Health responsible for Mental Health, Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman, noted that one in five New Zealanders experiences a mental illness at some stage in their lives, with many more New Zealanders being directly or indirectly affected by that.

“Families/whānau can play a key role in the recovery process for someone who experiences a mental illness. The involvement of families is known to reduce the number of relapses.

“The new name highlights the focus on families. It also reflects the vital role this organization plays in the community. This is another positive step forward in enabling Supporting Families to reach out to families who need their help,” said Minister Coleman.

“It is important that families know they don’t have to face the challenges alone and work in isolation. We can help them. We encourage families to go to our website where they can contact their local Supporting Families branch,” said Ms Leota.

Keywords: Mental Health, Mental Illness, Support Group

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Supporting Families in Mental Illness, SF Central Otago, New Zealand - support groups

We were very fortunate to have had lots of material donated by the local Salvation Army and with expert input from two “good” sewers from the community almost all members succeeded in producing at least one item – some made as many as three items. Artsenta staff visit the Cromwell Support Group once a month and provide tuition, materials, inspiration and motivation for creative activities.