Handover | Issue 35 – July 2016 – Equally Well update

May 31 was World Smokefree Day, but it was much more than that at Waikato District Health Boards (DHB) London Street site.

Following on from a profile in Issue 34 of Handover, Mandy Shanley (clinical nurse specialist), backed by her excellent team, delivered on her promise of holding an Equally Well event not only to mark Smokefree Day, but to support and encourage holistic health for people using mental health and addiction services.

Te Pou was on hand to capture the story and witnessed first-hand a stream of people coming to listen, receive gifts and be nourished by staff on stands. With the common goal in mind of supporting people with lived experience of mental health and addiction problems to improve their health and wellbeing a range of services came together including:

  • community mental health and addiction
  • integrated care coordination team
  • eating disorders
  • Smokefree
  • Breast and Cervical Screening Aotearoa
  • Pathway’s womens’ wellness.

Over twenty people had free physical health checks and were given a health passport with the results recorded.

There was clear support from the wider community for this event. Everyone that attended the event was welcome to participate in free raffles which included prizes such as a signed Chiefs’ jersey, a crock pot, Fitbit and blender gifted by Noel Leemings and other prizes donated by staff. A local florist had also gifted a beautiful bouquet of flowers.

Yummy pumpkin and lentil soup warmed the bodies while the laughter and conversation, warmed the mental, spiritual and social aspects of everyone’s wellbeing.

“We had over one hundred packs of Smokefree products on the table and there aren’t many left. A great day of conversations and reflection,” said Kate Dallas, the Waikato DHB Smokefree coordinator.

Cindy Tawa and Rima Ormsby from the Breast and Cervical Screening stand were only too happy to have the difficult conversations around the barriers to accessing screening and why it is important. “We go into people’s community and homes if that’s what it takes to help them access the right care.”

Pathway’s Lisa Mitchell, the team coach of their women’s wellness programme, reflected her team’s enthusiasm for its job when describing the programme as “walking alongside women while they journey towards wellness.”

Mandy was supported on the day by her manager Nicola Livingston and was delighted that nurse director Carole Kennedy and executive director Derek Wright also took time out to attend the event. She is hoping to make this a regular occurrence at London Street with planning already underway to hold another day in December.

Top left: Mandy Shanley and Nicola Livingston, Top right: Dietitian for specialist eating disorder service Jacinda Gower.
Bottom left: Cindy Tawa and Rima Ormsby, Bottom right: Donna Booth, Lisa Mitchell and Jo Smythe on the Women’s Wellness stand.