Nelson MP Nick Smith is concerned that Nelson’s 30 year old Nikau House is proposed to be closed.
“Nikau House has provided critical community based mental health services for 30 years. I have been inundated with concerns from clients, former clients and mental health professionals that the closure will reduce services at a time when mental health needs in the community are growing.
“The importance of community facilities like Nikau House is that mental health clients are more likely to access services in a community setting. The proposed closure is a contradiction when the Government has just had an inquiry recommending expansion of community based mental health services.
“It is not good enough that the District Health Board has proposed the closure of this significant facility without any community notification or public consultation. I heard late last week of the proposed closure and the District Health Board confirmed it today. The eight staff were advised last Thursday.
“The timing of this closure looks opportunistic in the wake of Covid-19. Nikau House had to revert to remote contact during the lockdown and this is being used as an easy time to permanently close the facility.
“Nikau House provides for some of the most vulnerable in our Nelson community. We need to stand up for these 200 people and ensure they have access to the services they need to be supported and recover from mental illness.”