14 Nov 2013

DHB reduces time Maori mental health patients in isolation

7:56 pm on 14 November 2013

The Tairawhiti District Health Board says it's taking small, simple steps to bring down the amount of time Maori mental health patients are put into isolation.

Seclusion rates are falling throughout the country, but they're still high for Maori.

On the East Coast, hospitals have slashed the amount of time Maori spend locked in a room on their own.

Measures include kaumatua talking to mental health patients, to foster a cultural connection.

In addition, a Tairawhiti clinical care manager, Te Pare Meihana, says a special chair is helping to take the stress out of seclusion.

She says they've bought a massage chair, which calms and soothes patients.