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Announcing proven organisation working on the Peninsula – Pathways

Meet Don Hamblyn, Team Coach of the Pathways Hauraki Coromandel team. He was with two of his colleagues on a visit to Whitianga and they popped into The Coromandel Informer to make themselves known.

Dita Donaldson, Social Worker; Julie Holden, Service and Relationship Manager; and Don Hamblyn, Teach Coach – all from Pathways.

Don was accompanied by Julie Holden, the Service and Relationship Manager for Pathways, and Dita Donaldson, one of Pathway’s Social Workers.

Pathways is a national service organisation, supporting people with drug, alcohol, and mental health concerns. It is a mobile service that takes referrals from the person concerned their family, the GP or other local organisations. Pathways has been operating for over ten years in the Hauraki area, and has expanded to cover the Coromandel Peninsula, from Waihi in the east, up both coastlines beyond Colville and as far west as Ngatea.

Pathways has a staff of six support workers in Thames, and three based in Waihi.

“We have a new service for people aged 12-24 – Whetu Marewa,” says Don.

“It is a youth and young adult service for those who are experiencing mild to moderate mental health issues. They work alongside schools and other health organisations. It is important to enable the young person to reengage with their community, school and the support networks there. They can liaise with the guidance counsellor teams in the schools.”

Pathways is mobile and Julie explained.

“We have an adult mobile service which means we can meet people in their homes and can sit with them and listen to their understanding of their situation in a trauma informed manner. This service enables us to support people in their community environment.

“A number of adults suffer anxiety and isolation especially if “family are not around.”

Julie described how Pathways mobile workers can help them get to see a doctor and walk alongside people to go to necessary medical appointments.

“Doctors’ appointments are just 15 minutes, and we can help them work focus on what is important for them and how that plays out in their lives – getting prescriptions or taking on a small exercise programme.”

Dita explained we can assist with Work and Income – a person may not be sure he/she is on the correct benefit, and this is very important.  “There are often phone interviews, and we can sit alongside someone to make sure they ask the appropriate questions. Some of our clients have struggled with connecting with family, and we can enable this at their request,” adds Julie.

When a person needs a referral to other secondary mental health services, Pathways can help facilitate that. “We do quite a lot for work around anxiety management helping people with strategies,” says Dita.

“We are seeing a lot more people with generalised anxiety.”

Pathways can be in touch with medical centres for a client as the priority is to improve overall wellness and wellbeing. “The culture is shifting; anxiety and depression are being voiced and talked about more,” says Don.

Alcohol and drug issues

A person may not meet criteria for Te Whatu Ora, but we can work with them on harm reduction of their alcohol and drug intake” says Don who is a registered Alcohol and Drug Practitioner.

“However, we are not a counselling service; we take more of a trusted friend and neighbour approach.

“We have a long way to go as a society, but the aim of Pathways is to do ourselves out of a job. We believe people can become stronger in their coping skills and enjoy wellness and become connected in their communities. This keeps up going.”

For Pathways, contact phone 07 868 0532. Email: hauraki@pathways