The new Waikato wide youth drug and alcohol service Youth INtact celebrated its official launch (15 March) in Garden Place, Hamilton. The approach was to celebrate with youth for youth in the Waikato. Rangatahi / young people from local high schools entertained the public with songs, poetry and kapa haka.
Funded by the Waikato District Health Board and delivered by Odyssey to the wider Hamilton region, Youth INtact began providing services in October 2016, and opened their new Hamilton premises on Level 2, 1 Garden Place, Hamilton on 15 March.
The service has delivered a new look and approach for how youth with alcohol and drug problems and their whānau/families receive the help they need.
Youth INtact services are also available in the wider Waikato DHB catchment communities through three other providers:
- CareNZ who provide Youth INtact in Tokoroa/Putaruru
- Taumarunui Community Kokiri Trust covering Te Kuiti, Otorohanga and Taumarunui
- Te Korowai o Hauraki covering Hauraki, Thames/Coromandel.
Since the service started an average of 183 young people per month are being seen by all Youth INtact providers.
Odyssey chief executive Fiona Trevelyan spoke at the event “Odyssey is honoured to have been selected to work alongside our Youth INtact partners to help implement the Waikato rangatahi/youth AOD model of care.”
“We are hugely grateful to the Waikato District Health Board for selecting us and supporting us all to deliver this bold and innovative service that places youth at its very heart – a service developed by the community, for the community,” said Trevelyan.
“We have been overwhelmed by the warmth and generosity of our partner agencies, the communities and schools that have welcomed us and who walk beside us, as well as the rural community houses and services who have welcomed us in and shared their space with us.”
Youth INtact has been developed with lots of feedback from clinicians, communities, rangatahi/young people and family/whānau.
The message was loud and clear from what they wanted, and included quick and easy access to youth friendly and youth specific services that are professional, holistic and culturally responsive. They also wanted the ability for early intervention and assertive follow up when there is a problem.
The Waikato Youth AOD project started in 2014. The Ministry of Health provided ‘one-off’ funding to develop a fresh solution for young people in the Waikato experiencing drug and alcohol problems, including youth with co-existing mental health problems.
For more information about Youth INtact and the services it provides visit – www.youthintact.org.nz