A new approach to Maori mental health in a central North Island town means clients can now get help every day instead of once a month.
Support has come out of Whanganui Hospital and into Taihape, after the local health board realised the city-based service alone wasn't good enough.
People had to travel an hour and a quarter to the hospital, and when they returned they was no local support.
An iwi health provider, Otaihape Maori Komiti, is now looking after Maori men and women, supporting about 15 patients.
General manger Moira Raukawa-Haskell says she can now see the lights in the eyes of people who need treatment.
She says some clients have started work, others are doing training at a rural education service, and a couple of people are self-managing.