Tina and Tui
Spending some time in one of Richmond’s houses as part of its Supported Accommodation Service means Tui can get himself well, get some education and hopefully return home to be with his son and wife.
Richmond’s Supported Accommodation Service provides a recovery focused approach to help clients reach their goals.
Originally from Western Samoa, Tui has lived at Jansen House in Auckland, a property owned by Richmond, since November 2009. It was recently upgraded with heat pumps as part of Richmond ’s major upgrade of its owned properties last year.
Tui has access to a Richmond staff member 24-hours a day, seven-days a week, ensuring continual support. His support worker, Tina, has helped Tui develop an Individual Support Plan that identifies some goals he wants to achieve.
Like 30,000 other New Zealanders Tui suffers from schizophrenia, a serious mental disorder that distorts a person’s behaviour, ideas and moods. He “used to hear voices and see things that were not there” he says, and was referred to Richmond’s Supported Accommodation Service from the Counties Manukau District Health Board.
“Some of my goals are for me to get well, to get a job and then to leave here,” says Tui.
His biggest goals at the moment are to complete a computer course so he can write a book for his son about his life in Samoa and, like most people, to keep his room clean. Another goal is to work on living skills to help organise his day and look after a house. Longer term, Tina hopes to enrol Tui at Hamlin Road Farm, a Pathways initiative with which Richmond has a connection, that offers employment opportunities and gives clients an opportunity to gain valuable work skills and confidence. She also wants to help Tui learn to drive.
A typical week sees Tui going to his computer course, visiting the library and on Tuesdays he spends two hours playing sport – mostly soccer, volleyball and weight lifting. He uses public transport to get out and about.
Tui is keen to grow his own garden once he gets home to provide for his wife and son, so Tina has encouraged him to establish a garden at Jansen House. “Tui is really proud of it – he grows a variety of vegetables including broccoli, silver beet and bok choy and these are all used in his daily cooking,” says Tina.
A popular initiative at Jansen House is clients having the opportunity to chair the weekly house meeting and take minutes. Tina also encourages Tui to get out of bed, do household chores and teaches him about budgeting, life skills, shopping and buying nutritious meals.
“The skills I have learnt here have really helped me,” says Tui.
“We are all keen for Tui to do really well,” says Tina “We hope that he leaves with a part-time job that will empower him and help him transition into the community.”