Careers > Co-Existing Problems (CEP) Team

Co-Existing Problems (CEP) Team

Clinicans , Co-Existing Problems (CEP) Team

Co-Existing Problems (CEP) Team
Rose Taylor (left) and Sam Mahy

Rose Taylor, the latest addition to the Co-Existing Problems (CEP) team, says that she doesn't mind chaos:

"I find it incredibly interesting, fascinating. Helping a person to make sense of what's happening, what's going wrong, and to help them put that in some sort of positive order, that's what we are here to do."

Rose joined the team in August and is working alongside social worker Sam Mahy and Toi Hamahona (pictured above). Their service helps with people experiencing both substance abuse as well as mental health problems.

An experienced nurse Rose spent 17 years in general nursing before embarking on post-grad studies in comprehensive nursing. An advanced certificate in co-existing problems honed her skills, and lead to her current field.

"It's really important to be present and available with clients. You really need to listen to them to find out how they want to get well, and then you use your skills and experience to unlock their recovery."

Samantha (Sam) Mahy, along with Rose and Toi, make up the CEP team. Sam has been with Tui Ora for five years, starting out with Youth Service in Hawera.

Sam studied at WITT to become a social worker as she knew she wanted to look after people, but it wasn't her first trade – Sam is also a qualified plasterer; something she learned because her parents wouldn't let her leave school without a job.

Sam discovered quickly that plastering wasn't for her and re-trained. She has an under-grad and post-grad certificates in health science where she focused on the addiction, and mental health pathways. She is soon to embark on research papers that will look into historical trauma and the impact it has on individuals and communities.

She is not surprised to find herself in a caring role as nurturing is in her blood. Her mother is a teacher, her father was an ambulance driver and her grandmother's worked as a nanny and a counsellor respectively.

Sam doesn't like to sit still and is always looking for ways to upskill. She is currently learning Te reo Māori through WITT, and training for the Iron Māori triathlon, which she competed in for the first time last year. Naturally, she wants to improve on her time.

Speaking about her job Sam says:

"I love the complexity of my mahi. It's extremely challenging – but I like a challenge.

"A person's needs are not simple. They may be suffering from depression, but there is often so much more to it. We do our best to help them to recover in a way that makes sense to them, and live their lives in their own way."

Toi’s career in mental health began when he first qualified as a registered nurse. He started working at Taranaki Base Hospital in the inpatient mental health unit, moved to Hamilton to work in the forensic service and then returned to Taranaki. “I had always wanted to work for a kaupapa service and a vacancy came up at Te Rau Pani [the Māori mental health team run under the auspices of the TDHB).

“Right from the get-go mental health was the area I wanted to work in. I wanted to do something for the Māori community.”

He had began his working life as a scaffolder but says almost overnight he decided to take a different path. He had also been an ambulance officer and firefighter “so it all lead to one thing.”

These days as well as working at Tui Ora, Toi volunteers as a medic for the New Plymouth rescue squad on urban search and rescue missions, as well as volunteering with No Duff, an organisation that provides welfare support to past and present members of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF). His help extends to providing mental health care for those dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Key facts about the CEP service

  • CEP Service offered to adults aged 18 - 65 years who experience co-existing substance use and mental health problems.
  • Available to anyone, regardless of gender or ethnicity.
  • New referrals screened for appropriateness and allocated through a multidisciplinary team.
  • Referrals accepted from GPs, other mental health services, from family/whānau or by self-referral.
  • Clinicians meet with people in their homes or onsite at Tui Ora.
  • Seven principles guide staff when working with tangata whaiora: Cultural consideration, well-being, engagement, motivation, assessment, management and integrated care. 
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