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Mason Clinic Regional Forensic Psychiatry Services

Public Service, Mental Health, Mental Health & Addictions

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Description

 
Vision Statement

Improving Lives through Responsive Forensic Services:  Mauri Ora!    Mauri Kaha! 

Mission Statement

To achieve a world leading health service with people who have a mental illness and/or intellectual disability within the context of criminal offending.  Our service excellence rests on the pillars of our knowledge,  professionalism and values.

We are one of New Zealand’s leading providers of forensic psychiatric care and are fast developing an international reputation for quality and innovation in our field.

Mason Clinic was created in response to the New Zealand Government inquiry into the care of mentally ill offenders. We provide an integrated forensic mental health service to the northern region’s courts, prisons and general mental health services.

Our inpatient services consist of seven forensic mental health inpatient units and an intellectual disability unit that assess, treat and assist in the recovery of people with mental illness or intellectual disability who have committed a criminal offence or are at high risk in the community.

Our teams are multi-disciplinary, multi-ethnic, close knit and very supportive of people’s recovery. We have an environment for staff to continue to learn and grow.

Our vision, mission and values are inclusive; founded on a therapeutic commitment to the patients, their family and the community. We are committed to both process and outcome quality, best evidence based practice, a management environment that is respectful of all staff and an ongoing learning environment. 

Dr Krishna Pillai is the Clinical Director of Mason Clinic, Auckland Regional Forensic Psychiatry Services.

 

What is Mental Illness?

 Mental illness is a clinically significant behaviour or psychological (to do with the mind) disorder that is associated with distress or disability. It is not just the way someone responds to a particular event nor is it limited to the way a person interacts with society.

 
A mental illness can continuously or intermittently (occasionally) affect our capacity for speech, language, mood, affect, thoughts, perceptions, insight, judgement, cognition (understanding) and volition (ability to make choices). It can limit our ability to function as society would normally expect of us and can put us and others at risk.
 
Mental illness is therefore, a broad term that covers problems ranging from minor to severe disorders.
 
 
Who is a Psychiatrist?
 
A ‘psychiatrist’ is a doctor who, after basic medical qualifications, 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.

Consultants

Referral Expectations

Mason Clinic is a specialist service and does not accept referrals directly from the general public.

Fees and Charges Categorisation

Free

Hours

Mon – Fri 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM

All visits on site are to be arranged through authorised staff. All visits to patients in secure units are to be arranged through the unit.

Auckland Regional Forensic Services have a catchment area from the Bombay Hills in the south to the top of the North Island for general mental illness and, for offenders with an intellectual disability, from Taupō to the top of the North Island.

Services / Common Conditions

Our Team

Mason Clinic is a large organisation with over 400 full time staff employed. We provide a regional forensic service to mentally ill people covering the area north of the Bombay Hills, and for intellectually disabled people we cover the area north of Taupo. Major clinical and management decisions come out of a multi-level consultation process that is endorsed by a Clinical Governance team. The Clinical Governance group meets monthly and is chaired alternately by the Operations Manager or Clinical Director. The Regional Manager, Clinical Director, Operations Manager, Heads of Department, Lead Clinicians, Unit Managers and Team Leaders work collaboratively to ensure the safe, secure and efficient operations of each sub-service or team. The day-to-day operations of each of the sub-service teams are managed by Nurses In Charge and/or Team Leaders. Maori and Pacific Island specific cultural guidance and support is provided by staff who are affiliated to Polynesian tribal/country groups. A kaumatua (tribal elder) and a matai (Samoan chief) are the senior cultural advisors. Health professionals (Consultant Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Social Workers, Occupational Therapists, Cultural Advisors, Consumer Advocates) are encouraged to meet regularly for co-ordination, planning and group supervision, while administrative and multi-skilled staff keep our organisation running smoothly and maintained.

Mason Clinic is a large organisation with over 400 full time staff employed. We provide a regional forensic service to mentally ill people covering the area north of the Bombay Hills, and for intellectually disabled people we cover the area north of Taupo.

Major clinical and management decisions come out of a multi-level consultation process that is endorsed by a Clinical Governance team. The Clinical Governance group meets monthly and is chaired alternately by the Operations Manager or Clinical Director.

The Regional Manager, Clinical Director, Operations Manager, Heads of Department,  Lead Clinicians, Unit Managers and Team Leaders work collaboratively to ensure the safe, secure and efficient operations of each sub-service or team. The day-to-day operations of each of the sub-service teams are managed by Nurses In Charge and/or Team Leaders.

Maori and Pacific Island specific cultural guidance and support is provided by staff who are affiliated to Polynesian tribal/country groups. A kaumatua (tribal elder) and a matai (Samoan chief) are the senior cultural advisors.

Health professionals (Consultant Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Social Workers, Occupational Therapists, Cultural Advisors, Consumer Advocates) are encouraged to meet regularly for co-ordination, planning and group supervision, while administrative and multi-skilled staff keep our organisation running smoothly and maintained.

Mason Clinic Services

Inpatient services are supported by a Court Liaison Team and a Forensic Prison Team at the entry end and a Forensic Community Liaison Team for patients who return to the community. Newly admitted patients normally start in the Acute Units: Kauri or Totara. Some patients return to prison after assessment and treatment, a few to the community, while others move through Rata Unit which is sub-acute and/or the Rehabilitation Units; Kahikatea, Te Papakainga o Tane Whakapirpiri and Rimu. A Kaupapa Maori rehabilitation unit - Te Aka takes patients who have chosen a recovery pathway that embraces Maori values and concepts. We also provide an inpatient service for offenders with an intellectual disability. Chaplaincy services are based at the Kowhai building and are available to all patients, their relatives/whanau/support persons and staff to: - provide pastoral care, spiritual support, leadership and guidance on the basis of need rather than religious affiliation or none. - to address the spiritual, emotional and pastoral needs of patients, whanau/families and staff. - to provide services of worship. - to facilitate referrals to to other religious groups on request.

Inpatient services are supported by a Court Liaison Team and a Forensic Prison Team at the entry end and a Forensic Community Liaison Team for patients who return to the community.

Newly admitted patients normally start in the Acute Units: Kauri or Totara.   Some patients return to prison after assessment and treatment, a few to the community, while others move through Rata Unit which is sub-acute and/or the Rehabilitation Units; Kahikatea, Te Papakainga o Tane Whakapirpiri and Rimu.   A Kaupapa Maori rehabilitation unit - Te Aka takes patients who have chosen a recovery pathway that embraces Maori values and concepts.   We also provide an inpatient service for offenders with an intellectual disability.

Chaplaincy services are based at the Kowhai building and are available to all patients, their relatives/whanau/support persons and staff to:

- provide pastoral care, spiritual support, leadership and guidance on the basis of need rather than religious affiliation or none.

- to address the spiritual, emotional and pastoral needs of patients, whanau/families and staff.

- to provide services of worship.

- to facilitate referrals to to other religious groups on request.

 

Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder that affects about 1% of the general population. It is a complex illness characterised by ‘psychosis’, a word used to describe disorder of thoughts (e.g. delusions - false beliefs held in spite of evidence that they are not real), perceptions (e.g. hallucinations - seeing, hearing or feeling things which are not there), disorganised speech and grossly disorganised behaviour, which are not experienced by others and which are not seen as abnormal by the sufferer. These four symptoms are often referred to as the ‘Positive Symptoms’ of schizophrenia because they are the result of the disease process. The fifth group of symptoms: withdrawal, decreased ability to feel pleasure, lack of energy, and flat affect, are referred to as ‘Negative Symptoms’ because they represent a loss of normal functions. Schizophrenia affects different people in different ways. Some people may experience only a few short episodes and then fully recover. For others it lasts throughout their lives and needs to be treated like any other physical illness such as asthma or diabetes. It is important that schizophrenia is treated as soon as it is diagnosed by a psychiatrist to prevent long-term disability and loss of function. Treatment Schizophrenia may be treated using a number of different approaches: Use of antipsychotic medication Psychosocial education programs e.g. education, support, counselling and assistance to return to job/studies/performing daily tasks Ongoing support e.g. housing, monitoring of treatment, support groups.

Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder that affects about 1% of the general population. It is a complex illness characterised by ‘psychosis’, a word used to describe disorder of thoughts (e.g. delusions - false beliefs held in spite of evidence that they are not real), perceptions (e.g. hallucinations - seeing, hearing or feeling things which are not there), disorganised speech and grossly disorganised behaviour, which are not experienced by others and which are not seen as abnormal by the sufferer. These four symptoms are often referred to as the ‘Positive Symptoms’ of schizophrenia because they are the result of the disease process.
 
The fifth group of symptoms: withdrawal, decreased ability to feel pleasure, lack of energy, and flat affect, are referred to as ‘Negative Symptoms’ because they represent a loss of normal functions.
 
Schizophrenia affects different people in different ways. Some people may experience only a few short episodes and then fully recover.  For others it lasts throughout their lives and needs to be treated like any other physical illness such as asthma or diabetes.
 
It is important that schizophrenia is treated as soon as it is diagnosed by a psychiatrist to prevent long-term disability and loss of function.
 
Treatment
Schizophrenia may be treated using a number of different approaches:
  • Use of antipsychotic medication
  • Psychosocial education programs e.g. education, support, counselling and assistance to return to job/studies/performing daily tasks
  • Ongoing support e.g. housing, monitoring of treatment, support groups.
Bipolar Disorder/Manic Depression

This is a mood disorder in which both depressive (persistent low mood) and manic (elevated or high mood) episodes are experienced. It is usually a recurring (i.e. keeps coming back) disorder that can cause a lot of havoc in all aspects of a person’s life. People with this disorder will experience periods of extreme mood changes but also periods of stable mood during which they may be able to return to everyday routines. These changes of mood can be very extreme and occur for no apparent reason. Different people will experience this disorder in different ways; some may have few episodes, others many, and symptoms may vary from mild to severe. When severely depressed or elevated, a person can become ‘psychotic’ i.e. lose touch with reality. Treatment Usually by medication (antidepressants if depressed and mood stabilisers if depressed and manic) A combination of counselling and psychotherapy (‘talking therapy’) may hasten recovery Hospitalisation may be required for those who are very unwell and are posing a risk to themselves or to others.

This is a mood disorder in which both depressive (persistent low mood) and manic (elevated or high mood) episodes are experienced. It is usually a recurring (i.e. keeps coming back) disorder that can cause a lot of havoc in all aspects of a person’s life. People with this disorder will experience periods of extreme mood changes but also periods of stable mood during which they may be able to return to everyday routines.
 
These changes of mood can be very extreme and occur for no apparent reason. Different people will experience this disorder in different ways; some may have few episodes, others many, and symptoms may vary from mild to severe. When severely depressed or elevated, a person can become ‘psychotic’ i.e. lose touch with reality.
 
Treatment
  • Usually by medication (antidepressants if depressed and mood stabilisers if depressed and manic)
  • A combination of counselling and psychotherapy (‘talking therapy’) may hasten recovery
  • Hospitalisation may be required for those who are very unwell and are posing a risk to themselves or to others.
Depression

Depression is a mood disorder. Emotional states like sadness, ‘feeling blue’ or tearfulness are part of normal human experience. Clinical depression is called Major Depression and is characterised by the presence for at least two weeks of symptoms such as depressed mood, diminished interest and pleasure in most activities, change in appetite and weight (these can be increased or decreased) sleep disturbance, fatigue, bodily symptoms (headache, backache etc) poor concentration, feelings of anxiousness, worthlessness, hopelessness, guilt, and suicidal ideation. Depression is a common disorder and about 10-20 % of the population in New Zealand will suffer from depression during their lifetime. Treatment Once depression has been diagnosed by your GP/Psychiatrist, it can be effectively treated by: Antidepressant medication Psychological interventions e.g. counselling (various types) and psychotherapy (talking therapy which is of various types).

Depression is a mood disorder. Emotional states like sadness, ‘feeling blue’ or tearfulness are part of normal human experience. Clinical depression is called Major Depression and is characterised by the presence for at least two weeks of symptoms such as depressed mood, diminished interest and pleasure in most activities, change in appetite and weight (these can be increased or decreased) sleep disturbance, fatigue, bodily symptoms (headache, backache etc) poor concentration, feelings of anxiousness, worthlessness, hopelessness, guilt, and suicidal ideation.
 
Depression is a common disorder and about 10-20 % of the population in New Zealand will suffer from depression during their lifetime. 
 
Treatment
Once depression has been diagnosed by your GP/Psychiatrist, it can be effectively treated by:
  • Antidepressant medication
  • Psychological interventions e.g. counselling (various types) and psychotherapy (talking therapy which is of various types).
 
Anxiety Disorders

We all feel some anxiety at some time or other. Anxiety may serve as an alerting signal, warning us of external /internal threats and consequently acting as a prompt to take appropriate action. When anxiety is very severe and present even when there is no threat of any kind, then it interferes with our functioning and can become an illness. In this circumstance, anxiety becomes a disorder characterised by an unpleasant emotion with feelings of fear, threat and impending danger and can be associated with numerous bodily symptoms like breathlessness, trembling, tightness in throat, dry mouth, racing heart and nausea/vomiting. There are varieties of anxiety disorders like panic attacks, phobias (unhealthy fear of something), agoraphobia (fear of open spaces), social anxiety, post-traumatic disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder. Anxiety can often be associated with a depressive episode. Anxiety disorders are very common and if unrecognised and untreated, can cause severe disability. Treatment Self help: learning techniques like relaxation, distraction and education Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Medication.

We all feel some anxiety at some time or other. Anxiety may serve as an alerting signal, warning us of external /internal threats and consequently acting as a prompt to take appropriate action.
 
When anxiety is very severe and present even when there is no threat of any kind, then it interferes with our functioning and can become an illness. In this circumstance, anxiety becomes a disorder characterised by an unpleasant emotion with feelings of fear, threat and impending danger and can be associated with numerous bodily symptoms like breathlessness, trembling, tightness in throat, dry mouth, racing heart and nausea/vomiting.
 
There are varieties of anxiety disorders like panic attacks, phobias (unhealthy fear of something), agoraphobia (fear of open spaces), social anxiety, post-traumatic disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder. Anxiety can often be associated with a depressive episode.
 
Anxiety disorders are very common and if unrecognised and untreated, can cause severe disability.
 
Treatment
  • Self help: learning techniques like relaxation, distraction and education
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Medication.

Programmes

Acute - Sub Acute Service

Kauri Unit: 15 beds (Male only), Totara Unit: 15 beds (Male and Female)

Programme Areas

Mental health

Programme Type

Forensic

Regions

South Auckland, East Auckland, North Auckland, West Auckland, Central Auckland, Northland

Age Groups

Adult / Pakeke, Older adult / Kaumātua

Referral Types

DHB clinical services, Corrections

Referral Process

Mason Clinic is a specialist service and does not accept referrals directly from the general public.

Description
  • Kauri Unit: 15 beds (Male only)
  • Totara Unit:  15 beds (Male and Female)
Rehabilitation Service

Kahikatea Unit: 20 beds (Male and Female), Rimu Hostel: 9 beds (Male and Female), Rata Unit: 15 beds (Male only), E Tu Tanekaha Unit: 15 beds (Male and Female)

Programme Areas

Mental health

Programme Type

Forensic

Regions

South Auckland, East Auckland, North Auckland, West Auckland, Central Auckland, Northland

Age Groups

Adult / Pakeke, Older adult / Kaumātua

Referral Types

DHB clinical services, Corrections

Referral Process

Mason Clinic is a specialist service and does not accept referrals directly from the general public.

Description
  • Kahikatea Unit: 20 beds (Male and Female)
  • Rimu Hostel: 9 beds (Male and Female)
  • Rata Unit: 15 beds (Male only)
  • E Tu Tanekaha Unit: 15 beds (Male and Female)
Kaupapa Māori Service

Te Papakainga o Tāne Whakapiripiri: 12 beds (Male and Female), Te Aka Unit: 15 beds (Male and Female)

Programme Areas

Mental health, Kaupapa Māori

Programme Type

Forensic, Kaupapa Māori - mental health

Regions

South Auckland, East Auckland, North Auckland, West Auckland, Central Auckland, Northland

Age Groups

Adult / Pakeke, Older adult / Kaumātua

Referral Types

DHB clinical services, Corrections

Referral Process

Mason Clinic is a specialist service and does not accept referrals directly from the general public.

Description
  • Te Papakainga o Tāne Whakapiripiri: 12 beds (Male and Female)
  • Te Aka Unit: 15 beds (Male and Female)
Intellectual Disability Service

Pohutukawa Unit: 12 beds (Male and Female)

Programme Areas

Mental health

Programme Type

Disability support, Forensic

Regions

South Auckland, East Auckland, North Auckland, West Auckland, Central Auckland, Northland

Age Groups

Adult / Pakeke, Older adult / Kaumātua

Referral Types

DHB clinical services, Corrections

Referral Process

Mason Clinic is a specialist service and does not accept referrals directly from the general public.

Description
  • Pohutukawa Unit: 12 beds (Male and Female)

Visiting Hours

Families and friends are encouraged to visit patients.

Visiting times vary from unit to unit. The acute units have fixed visiting times while the rehabilitation units can be more flexible. It is important to contact the unit and make a time for the visit. Visitor, patient and staff safety is paramount so there are times when visits are cancelled or cut short to ensure that everyone is kept safe. Some units have more flexibility and can arrange a visit at short notice.

Most visits are no longer than 30 minutes in duration; however exemptions can be made for those who travel from long distances. This needs to be arranged with the unit.

Refreshments

Refreshments are available at Point Chevalier and UNITEC student cafes. Cold filtered water is available in Mason Clinic Reception.

Travel Directions

North Western Motorway from the City: Turn off at Western Springs, continue along the Great North Road to the traffic lights at Point Chevalier, turn left into Carrington Road.

North Western Motorway from the West: Turn left towards Point Chevalier and then right at the Point Chevalier traffic lights into Carrington Road.

Point Chevalier Road from Meola Road: Continue to traffic lights at Point Chevalier and continue straight across to Carrington Road, turn right into UNITEC Gate 1

Carrington Road from Mt Albert: Turn left into UNITEC Gate 1.

Directions through UNITEC: Once you have turned into UNITEC Gate 2: follow the road down the hill, Mason Clinic entrance will shortly come up on your right. 

Unless you have been otherwise instructed, please check in first at the Mason Clinic building with the Receptionist .

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Public Transport

Mason Clinic is easily accessible by public transport (including the Outer Link bus service) via Point Chevalier and Carrington Road.

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Parking

Entry and exit points are controlled by barrier arms.  As a visitor you may park for free.  Just push the telecom button to have the barrier arm raised on entry and exit.  Parking is available on site in undesignated car spaces.   Please ensure that your vehicle is locked and all items in the car are out of sight.

Do not park on yellow lines.  These provide emergency access for fire and ambulance vehicles. 

Pharmacy

Point Chevalier and Mt Albert shopping centres have pharmacies.

Security

Visitors to Mason Cinic are required to take instructions from authorised staff at all times.

Other

For information about local accommodation, pharmacies and refreshment availability, please click here.

Contact Details

Mason Clinic

Central Auckland

Regional Forensic Psychiatry Services:

Reception: 8:00 am - 4:30 pm: 

Ph (09) 815 5860 

Mason Clinic Security       (09) 815 5150
Rata Security                   (09) 815 5880
Te Miro Cultural Centre     (09) 815 5878

Chaplaincy Services          (09) 815 5164 Extn 45259

Mason Clinic PA to Clinical Director and Service Manager (09) 838 1883

Automated Details available 24 hours, Ph: (09) 815 5164
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Inpatient Unit (Nursing Stations):

Totara Unit        (09) 815 5154   Email: Totara.MasonClinic@waitematadhb.govt.nz
Kauri Unit          (09) 815 5151   Email: Kauri.MasonClinic@waitematadhb.govt.nz
Rata Unit           (09) 815 5871   Email: Rata.MasonClinic@waitematadhb.govt.nz
Kahikatea Unit    (09) 815 515    Email: Kahikatea.MasonClinic@waitematadhb.govt.nz

E Tu Tanekaha Unit (09) 838 1837  Email: ETuTanekaha.MasonClinic@waitematadhb.govt.nz

Te Papakainga o Tane Whakapiripiri  Unit   (09) 815 5889   Email: TaneWhakapiripiri@waitematadhb.govt.nz
Rimu Hostel     (09) 815 5156    Email: Rimu.MasonClinic@waitematadhb.govt.nz
Te Aka Unit      (09) 845 7531    Email: TeAka.MasonClinic@waitematadhb.govt.nz
Pohutukawa Unit (I.D. Services) Email: Pohutukawa.MasonClinic@waitematadhb.govt.nz
                       (09) 845 7538

UNITEC Gate 2, Carrington Road
Pt Chevalier
Auckland

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Street Address

UNITEC Gate 2, Carrington Road
Pt Chevalier
Auckland

Postal Address

Mason Clinic Regional Forensic Psychiatry Services
Private Bag 19986
Avondale
AUCKLAND 1746

This page was last updated at 1:52PM on July 10, 2023. This information is reviewed and edited by Mason Clinic Regional Forensic Psychiatry Services.