Te Whetu Tawera 'Evening Star'
Te Whetu Tawera is the Auckland District Health Board's Acute Mental Health Inpatient Unit and Te Whetu Tawera means the evening star. The meaning in relation to the service is that even in times of darkness for people who are unwell and who use this service, there is a light for them and their family. The serrated light of this star is representative of peoples' healing pathway and journey - that this journey is not always along a straight path, there are always "mountains to climb and rivers to cross" - that there are challenges along the way to test our resolve to attain and maintain wellness. However, if we keep the guiding 'star' of Te Whetu Tawera in our sights we will remain on our pathway to healing.
Within Te Whetu Tawera there are four areas in three wards whose names reflect the challenges and support that can be encountered on the journey. We may become totally disconnected from our internalised wairua dimension and seek to reinstate that which gives our very existence meaning. We seek unconditional love/acceptance: Arohaina. Te Whetu Tawera remains our sight and sustains the hope; Te Tumanako, that challenges along the way will not diminish this. There are mountains to climb; Te Kakenga, and rivers to cross; Te Whitianga, that test our resolve to attain and maintain wellness.
So what is the connection between the meaning of Te Wheta Tawera and the service we deliver?
- all interactions and interventions are about supporting service users and families on their journey to sustainable wellness
- celebrating periods of wellness that service users experience between admissions, building on their knowledge, skills and confidence to reconnect
We have a vision to be the best Acute Inpatient Mental Health Service in the Pacific
The core values of the Unit include:
The right to self-determination - participation and family involvment in care, planning and the decision making processes towards service users gaining control over their lives to the best of their ability
Inclusion of family - supporting inclusion of family and care givers in treatment decisions and discharge planning. Resourcing families and care givers with information and support
Honesty, respect and intergrity - we value delivering these three dimensions as one
Manaakitanga - This dimension embraces support, caring and providing the best that can be offered to the service user and family in terms of the environment, the warmth and caring of interactions between staff, the service user, family and other professionals and the ability of staff to give their best at all times.
Striving towards wellness - maximising the strength of service users and families and developing new skills and ways of living to maintain wellness
Integrity - this concept acknowledges the requirement that each staff member working at Te Whetu Tawera is bound by the ethical principles of his/her discipline and will place the wellbeing of the service user at the forefront of his/her working effort, within the limits of his/her own personal capacities.
Wairuatanga - Before the coming of the Pakeha and Christianity, Maori religion both dominated and was a reflection of the Maori way of life. It emanated from the everyday existence of Maori and at the same time gave that existence meaning. Spirituality is seen as a dimension internalised within a person from conception - the seed of life emanated from the supreme supernatural influence. Maori beliefs, values and traditions ensure that both realms are recognised, sustained and nurtured together in a holistic way. This is the recognition of the spiritual dimension and vibration. The level of spiritual wellness is reflected in a person's physical and mental wellness.
Solidarity - refers to the cultural imperative to work for the common interest of the group. "e hara taku toa i toa takitahi engari he toa takitini" "my strength is not that of the individual but that of the multitudes"
Respectfulness - This concept recognises the fundamental uniqueness of the individual and his/her right to self-determination. It embodies a profound valuation of life and the cultural, spritual, mental and physical aspects that support and sustain it for each person.
Optimism - this acknowledges the assumption that improvement in the quality of life is not only possible but expected, and that the time spent at Te Whetu Tawera will be focussed on movement towards recovery
Excellence - each staff member at Te Whetu Tawera pursues professional betterment, the personal journey of each staff member is no less ambitious than that for patients, namely, a journey focussed on a commitment to improvement
This unit recruits for Psychiatrists, Nurses and Allied Health Professionals.