Te Whare Mahana provides the national DBT intensive programme which serves all New Zealand, and local community mental health services for the Golden Bay community, fulfilling our mission “to provide integrated, quality, holistic mental health and well-being services.”
Te Whare Mahana was founded in 1989 as an Incorporated Society by local counsellors Carol and Simon Parkinson-Jones. It was the realisation of their long-held vision to provide a therapeutic retreat centre where people suffering from emotional and psychological difficulties could come and live for a time and work towards greater wellness and independence. From the very start, the emphasis of this small therapeutic community has been on rehabilitation and assisting people to make positive changes in their lives. Much valued and needed support in those early years came from Dr Helen Kingston, Anne Castle, Rev John Williams Richard, Lentia Thorpe and Rev. Charles Naylor, amongst others.
The house at 163 Commercial St was purchased in late 1989 and the first two residents moved in the following year. A therapy programme was designed and implemented for the fledgling therapeutic community.
The establishment of the Regional Health Authorities (RHA) in 1993 enabled Te Whare Mahana to gain their first secure contract funding, for eight residents.
Te Whare Mahana continued to grow from strength to strength over the 1990s and 2000s, including establishing the Community Mental Health and vocational services.
These services were recognised by the signing of an ongoing contract with the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board in 2002.
Te Whare Mahana became a Charitable Trust in 2011, with the nine current members of the Trust Board coming from a range of relevant backgrounds. Just like the staff, they share a passion and commitment to the organisation, their job being to provide governance and direction.
The incorporation of the Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) model specialising in treating people with mood and personality disorders, makes Te Whare Mahana unique in New Zealand today.
Te Whare Mahana’s services are mainly funded through government contracts.
The Ministry of Health underwrites the overall cost of the National DBT Programme, which is then contributed to by the individual District Health Board (DHB) of the origin of clients. Te Whare Mahana also has a service agreement with the Accident and Compensation Corporation (ACC) for DBT treatment.
Contracts with the Nelson Marlborough DHB cover the Community Mental Health Service, Home-Based Support and Peer Support programmes.
A contract with the Ministry of Social Development funds Employment and Vocational Services.
Other funding is mainly through Work and Income benefits (residential support subsidy) and grants from local and national charitable funding bodies.
Grants are also sourced for major capital expenditure and new projects, which are outside existing contracts.
Te Whare Mahana Trust Board
Te Whare Mahana Trust became a Charitable Trust in 2011. The Trust Board members provide governance and direction. The trustees come from a range of relevant backgrounds and just like the staff, they share a passion and commitment to the organisation.
MARIAN VLAAR (CHAIR)
Marian semi-retired to Golden Bay in December 2018, after working as a psychotherapist in Dunedin for 28 years. Marian trained as a child and adolescent psychotherapist.
She grew up in the Netherlands where she worked in banking, before training as a Residential Social Worker. She worked in a Children’s home and when she came to New Zealand she initially worked in Kinglea Girls’ Home in Christchurch. Marian had been coming to the Bay on holiday for many years and enjoys the climate as well as the outdoor activities that the Bay offers.
She is looking forward to using her psychotherapy skills and insights on the board of Te Whare Mahana Trust.
John is a Clinical Psychologist with twenty years of experience working in the mental health field. He has worked in both Adult and Child Adolescent and Family Services in rural and urban settings and for both DHB and NGO organisations. He was the Clinical Director of Te Whare Mahana for ten years until 2011, and a Clinical Advisor for TWM until January 2012.
He has used Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) as a method of therapy for the past 15 years and was key to introducing it as the main therapy approach in Te Whare Mahana’s residential programme. This approach gave clients skills to use during crises and to improve their quality of life. The training in DBT gave staff ways to work successfully with clients with high suicidal ideation and frequent self-harm and suicide attempts. Clients who took on board the skills started to improve and often moved out of the mental health system.
John is a member of DBTNZ, an organisation responsible for providing national DBT training for Psychologists and other staff working with clients with complex issues. He helped to organise a national DBT intensive training in 2003-2004 and a national advanced DBT training in 2008.
He is continuing to work in Golden Bay part-time in his role as a Clinical Psychologist with the Nelson Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service.
Born in Germany, I started my professional life as a medical doctor. Since then, life’s journey has taken me to work and further study in several countries, adapting my work life to whatever presented itself in changing circumstances. This included further study in environmental health, publishing Golden Bay’s local paper, the GB Weekly, NGO management and community development as a volunteer with VSA. In Golden Bay, I have served two terms on the GB High School board of trustees as a member of the finance committee and one term as a meeting facilitator. I currently work as the office manager for Mohua Social Services and co-manage our family organic market garden with my husband, with the view to transitioning the business to the next generation in the near future.
Pat has 30 years experience in the Community & Voluntary Sector in many countries working with organisations he is passionate about such as Red Cross, Nelson Tasman Housing Trust and Oxfam. He is outcome-focused and always aims to achieve a significant, positive impact with the work he undertakes.
Rachael is a GP at Golden Bay community health where she has the role of Clinical Director. Her special interests are mental health, minor surgery, and women’s health. In her spare time, Rachel likes getting out in the outdoors, cycling and tramping.
Wayne owns and manages 300 cows with his wife Tyler in Kotinga, milking once a day all season which allows them extra time to spend with their three growing boys. He is a 6th generation local in Golden Bay. He met Tyler while completing a Diploma of Farm Management with Distinction at Lincoln University.
He sits as the President for Federated Farmers Golden Bay, as well as Vice-Chair for the Feds National Dairy Executive. Other roles include the chair of Primary ITO Dairy IPG, Chair of Federated Farmers Dairy apprentice scheme and a member of National Inductions Review Committee. More locally he sits on the board of Rural Service Center as Vice-Chair and has recently become a Golden Bay Community Good Sort.
Outside of all that, he and his family make an effort to say that they have ‘lived’ every day, challenging themselves to get out of their comfort zones and experience new things. You can follow their journey on the YOLO Farmer Facebook/Instagram
I have a background working for many years in mental health, addiction, and family violence, both directly with clients and more recently in management roles. I moved to the bay in 2021 and currently work full time as a privacy advisor. Having served 25 years on the board of the Southern Insight Meditation charitable trust, I practice and teach meditation and I’m passionate about helping people to develop emotional resilience and mental wellbeing. It’s clear that faced with the challenges of today’s world, good mental health support services are more important than ever, and it’s a privilege to serve the Golden Bay community as a trustee of Te Whare Mahana. Me mahi tahi tātou, mo te oranga o te katoa. We must work together, for the wellbeing of all.