sensory modulation

Help us raise $100,000 to upgrade our community mental health facilities

Nearly half of all New Zealanders will live with mental illness and/or addiction at some point during their lifetime and the use of mental health services has increased by 73% over the past decade.

A study completed by Te Pou in collaboration with the Occupational Science and Therapy Department at Auckland University of Technology and the mental health inpatient units of four DHBs explored alternative methods for managing distressed, agitated or aggressive behaviour and the findings suggest that sensory interventions are viewed by both staff and service users as being effective in modulating distress and promoting calm. Sensory modulation is becoming well embedded in New Zealand as part of an increasing effort to reduce and eliminate seclusion and restraintSensory modulation is a way of using senses such as sight, sound, smells, touch, taste and movement to help regulate emotional responses to any given situation and provides specific individual skills to self soothe and function. It is an approach used in all of our region’s mental health facilities including inpatient, outpatient and community sites as well as Waitakere and North Shore Hospital Emergency departments.

A variety of equipment and environments are used to provide sensory input including sensory rooms and individual modalities, and each mental health facility in the Waitematā DHB region has rooms allocated for this purpose. However, these facilities desperately need to be updated to provide the therapeutic environment required. We are proposing to upgrade the environment, including low sheen wall colours, lighting and sound proofing in addition to supplying challenging behaviour furniture and sensory kits. Each unit has advised the items required, ranging from massage chairs to silent clocks.

We need to raise $100,000 to support staff, patients and upgrade our region’s facilities – Waiatarau and He Puna Waiora inpatient units, Emergency Departments at North Shore and Waitākere Hospitals and community services in Takapuna, Henderson, red Beach, Helensville and Warkworth.

Can you help?

Our impact is only made possible through the following incredibly generous organisations: