Mental illness is a broad term that covers problems ranging from minor to severe disorders. A mental disorder is defined as a phenomenon. Phenomena are observable abnormalities of mental functioning. A mental illness can affect our mood, thoughts, perceptions, insight, judgment, cognition (understanding) and volition (ability to make choices).
Mental illness can result from the complexity of interactions between human beings and their environment.
There are a number of factors like: psychological health, sociological factors (having a job, friends and a valued place in society), spiritual wellness and biological health that influence mental health.
For detailed clinical information about mental disorders please click here.
Mental Health Services
The aim of the services is to work alongside the person and their family to empower and support them on their recovery journey. Mental health services aim to provide the following when things are not going well:
- Provide an assessment (the service provided will be based on a comprehensive assessment by members of a multi-disciplinary team)
- Discuss treatment options
- Provide treatment to alleviate symptoms during an intense episode of illness
- As a last resort the service provides inpatient options
- Make a key worker available
- Visit you in your home
- Look into respite options
- Referral to services that may be able to help
Who works in District Mental Health Services (DMHS)?
Mental health services employ a range of professionals that work as a team to support the range of factors that promote mental health.
The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable people to participate in the activities of everyday life. Occupational therapists achieve this outcome by enabling people to do things that will enhance their ability to participate or by modifying the environment to better support participation.
Social workers are committed to improving people’s quality of life and to the development of the full potential of each individual by working with people and families who use mental health services.
Psychology is an academic and applied discipline that involves the scientific study of human mental functions and behaviours. Clinical psychologists work with people to support perception, cognition, attention, emotion, motivation, brain functioning (neuropsychology), personality, behaviour, and interpersonal relationships.
Nurses are medically qualified people who often work closely with service users and others in the multi-disciplinary team to coordinate medical care. They also provide specific types of care and advice and help coordinate other health services for patients. Nurses often work with patients and their families individually.
A psychiatrist is a doctor who, after qualifying as a medical doctor, receives further training and develops the expertise to become a ‘specialist’ in identifying symptoms of, and diagnosing and treating, mental illnesses. You may have been referred to a psychiatrist if your doctor feels you need specialist help.
DMHS provides the following services to two major urban populations, those of North Shore and Waitakere cities, and a scattered rural population in Rodney County:
- Emergency Care Centre and Psychiatry Liaison
- Service Coordinators
- Child, Youth & Family Mental Health Services
- Mental Health Services for Older Adults
- Adult Community and Inpatient Mental Health Services