By moving we can get more space and keep supporting people experiencing mental distress. However this means new setup costs.
MHAPS – Mental Health Advocacy and Peer Support Trust in Christchurch is facing significant costs to fit out two empty units that will form the base for our services for the next six to eighteen years.
After the big quake in 2011 we operated out of a converted house and then signed a long lease in the central city, while things were demolished and rebuilt around us. Demand for MHAPS’ unique mental health support and advocacy has increased steadily since then and the service is now too busy to operate comfortably in our current premises.
Up to a thousand people a year meet with MHAPS’ peer workers for support, advocacy, and education, in groups or one-to-one. Several hundred more each year approach us for information and one-off support. A typical month sees 30 new people walk through the doors looking for support.
With our current lease expiring in June, we were delighted to find a new place only three blocks away, with about 20 per cent more floor space, for no more rent than we pay already.
We have some money put aside for fitting out the new space with meeting rooms, but the bulk of our funding is invested in our front-line peer workers. We pride ourselves on being accessible – you can walk in the door and meet a real person immediately, start connecting straight away. But we also need some quiet spaces where people can feel safe to talk, either one to one or in groups.
We’re not doctors and nurses, we don’t diagnose people and we don’t offer medication. But we know from our own personal experiences with mental health challenges, that when someone is overwhelmed or struggling, they need human connection and support, and help to deal with the things around them that cause them distress. That’s the difference we can offer.
People tell us we’re a vital service, and that we make a real difference. We’re proud of what we offer to Canterbury, but not too proud to ask for a bit of one-off support to get us comfortably settled in our new space.
MHAPS’ peer workers meet with people experiencing mental health challenges, for support, advocacy, and education, in groups or one-to-one. All staff have personal lived experience of mental distress, and of transforming these experiences into a life worth living. We offer genuine human connection and the chance to learn and practise these skills together.
All funds raised will go directly to the costs associated with the move and with fitting out the new office space with welcoming and comfortable meeting rooms. Any surplus will go towards front-line support for people experiencing mental distress.
Hi, thanks so much for your generous donation. It's very, very much appreciated :)
Wow. That's amazingly wonderful for us to hear. Thank you for making us feel we are making a difference and thank you so much for your generous donation.
Thank you for your donation Julie. It is much appreciated.
That's great. Thanks again Pete :)
Thank you Pete. Most appreciated.