Saturday July 22, 2017   Last updated 22:33PM
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Distraction part of mental health strategy

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A Massey University psychology and Maori studies student has come up with a care package for people undergoing a mental health crisis.

Shailah Anderson from Ngati Kahungunu Tuwharetoa, Maniapoto, and Ngapuhi, says mental health services only seem to step in when people are at a certain level of distress and that may be too late.

She says a care package could contain perfume to engage the senses, stress balls to distract the hands and mind, and a special diary with coloring pages for distraction, blank pages for reflection, questions for appointments and other useful information.

Ms Anderson, who is taking part in the national Tuia rangatahi leadership programme run by the Mayors’ Taskforce for Jobs, says the idea came to her during a discussion about teen suicide with her mentor, Palmerston North mayor Grant Smith.

Drawing on not only her studies but her own experiences with mental health, she says the package could be a way to buy time when someone is alone at night or waiting for an appointment.

She also wants to develop an app to help people find the services they need.

Copyright © 2017, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com

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