In 2015, a little girl was killed by her mother, who was having paranoid delusions. Despite reaching out to friends, her church, and her doctor, Evelyn Sen wasn’t seen by mental health professionals until it was too late.
A week before Evelyn Sen made the 111 call and screamed 'what have I done', before the police visited her in hospital, and the headlines were made, she was circling Mt Roskill in Auckland, looking for an ATM. She had cornered her neighbour, a woman who actively hid from Evelyn, and pleaded with her: "My daughter is sick. I need to check I have enough money to take her to the hospital if I need to."
It was winter and Shannon reluctantly agreed to drive her to the bank, noting four-year-old Maggie didn't seem sick at all. In fact she was chatty, sitting in the back seat and regaling Shannon with tales of her recent trip to Malaysia. After the Westpac machine refused to relinquish cash, Evelyn suggested they go to ASB. Shannon agreed, but drew the line when Evelyn suggested visiting another. How many banks did she belong to?
They went back to Moana Ave, the Onehunga suburb where they lived. The place where it all began and where soon enough, it would all end.
To begin to understand what happened, it’s important to go back to the beginning. Back to 2008 when Evelyn, short with dark eyes and dark hair flecked with silver, moved to Auckland. She was from Johor Baru in Malaysia and aged in her mid-30s. She told everyone to call her Lyn.
On Auckland’s North Shore, Evelyn began studying hairdressing and working part-time as a beauty therapist. She didn't have much money, though she bragged to friends her parents had given her hundreds of thousands of dollars. ‘Where had the money gone?’ a friend later wondered, noting Evelyn's spartan lifestyle. Did it even exist to begin with?
A North Shore flat was her first home. Evelyn took the upstairs room, her possessions few. She didn't cook often, too busy with work and study, and her only bad habit was smoking. The woman she stayed with became a close friend, even visiting Evelyn's parents in Malaysia.
Evelyn's ensuing homes are haphazardly pinpointed through statements others later gave to police. There was Mt Eden, where she fell pregnant to an Englishman who didn't stick around. Afterward, she became close to a beauty therapy client who insisted Evelyn move in with her mother-in-law during her pregnancy.
Then, sometime in 2010, a pregnant Evelyn met Richard Watson, after also living with his mother. They began a relationship. Richard was there when Evelyn learned she was having a girl. Evelyn couldn't hide her disappointment. She had hoped for a boy, Richard later told police, and she wished her child to have blue or green eyes.
On December 28, 2010, Evelyn gave birth at Middlemore Hospital to a brown-eyed Maggie Renee Watson. The Englishman's name went on the birth certificate but Richard was the one to fall in love with Maggie. He loved her as if she were his own and he had no doubt Evelyn loved her too.
To his sadness, Evelyn ended the relationship. He texted her to check on Maggie, welcoming them back to his home, but never heard back. He didn't hear anything more of Evelyn and knew nothing further of their lives. All he knew was that he loved Maggie very much.
Two years later, Evelyn first spoke about the demons in her mind. Visiting her Onehunga GP in December 2012, Evelyn relayed the following:
She believed police were following her and that her home was under surveillance through 3D technology. Someone was in her home during the day when she wasn’t there. A man with a strong odour, she said.
There was an evil presence in her house, possibly a demon. Her neighbours were involved in the police conspiracy. One neighbour told her Maggie would be killed by suffocation, and another said Maggie would try to hurt herself, Evelyn said.
She said her church group had performed rituals on her, leaving an imprint of an invisible cross on her forehead. She said there was strange sensation on her shoulders, which left through her mouth.
The doctor’s notes recorded the ‘symptoms’ fluctuated, and noted she was depressed and possibly paranoid. The GP prescribed her Mirtazapine, an antidepressant.
Debra Lampshire is prominent in her field. After struggling with hearing voices for years she was diagnosed with schizophrenia, and became a leader in the mental health field, simultaneously working for district health boards to improve their mental health approach, and teaching at the University of Auckland.
Lampshire says the majority of people who report mental illness symptoms do so to their GP first. A GP can refer patients to mental health services, but often lengthy waiting lists will mean a patient may take a while for a first appointment. If a case is considered serious, wrap around support services can be provided in the interim. Only someone in immediate danger to themselves or others will be admitted to a crisis unit.
While Evelyn’s danger to herself and Maggie wasn’t actualised until it was too late, Lampshire says it sounded like Evelyn qualified, at the very least, for intervention. An intervention that theoretically should have started with her doctor.
“This is clearly a woman who is very, very distressed. I would have thought that it would have been picked up,” Lampshire says.
“Some people are particularly good at hiding things, but this doesn’t sound like a woman who’s keeping it hidden. She’s verbalising, she’s articulating, what’s going on. She’s expressing this in her own way. She’s desperately asking for help.
“Just because she’s not saying ‘I need some help here’, she’s saying it in this kind of coded form - but she’s saying the same thing. I guess it’s where people feel the line is and whether they intervene, or let it go and run its course. It sounds, as if she’s very clearly declining.”
For a while there was light on Moana Ave.
Long before the neighbours gathered to listen to Pastor James Anson speak after the death of a little girl, and long before the flowers and candles gathered, there was warmth and love.
The avenue is brimming with trees, family homes, and well-kept gardens, providing a thoroughfare from Cornwall Park to industrial Onehunga, whose main street is cluttered with dollar stores, bakeries, and cafes.
The wait list for Housing New Zealand homes in Auckland in 2014 was critically long, second only to Christchurch where powerful earthquakes had displaced thousands. After years of uncertainty about where home truly lay, boarding in any home she could find, sometimes sleeping in her car, Evelyn secured a home on Moana Ave.
People there quickly wrapped themselves around her. Next door, South African couple Kim and Des Gilmore went to the weatherboard house with the white picket fence armed with furniture, and tools to fix things around the house. A green couch went into the lounge, and a single bed into Maggie's room.
A few doors down, Fialelei Amosa lived with her husband of 18 years and their five daughters. Evelyn and Fialelei didn't speak as frequently as she and the Gilmores but they shared a common interest: Smoking.
Fialelei set chairs set up under the roof of the carport so she and Evelyn could smoke and talk. Fialelei helped Evelyn do her lawns. Sometimes Evelyn politely asked for basics like sugar, milk and bread and occasionally Fialelei brought over cooked fish. Grateful, Evelyn always returned the clean plates the next day.
"On Saturdays, whenever I was home Evelyn would sometimes ask if Maggie could come over to play with the younger girls. I was always happy to have Maggie over. She got along well with my daughters," Fialelei later told police.
"Maggie and the girls would play with their toys and draw. Maggie would come over in the morning and then leave in the evening, say around six. Throughout the day Evelyn would ask Maggie to come home, however Maggie would ask if she could stay over longer to play.
“Evelyn was a good mother to Maggie."
Maggie loved playing with Honey, the Gilmore's border collie, and Des sometimes took Honey and Maggie for a walk, while anxious Evelyn stood at the gate watching as the trio walked the length of the street.
On Saturdays, Evelyn and Maggie visited the Gilmores, not leaving until late. Evelyn adjusted the television to something suitable for Maggie, while she and Kim sipped tea.
Once, Kim and Des' cousin Taryn came to stay and Evelyn shyly asked Taryn, an excellent baker, if she would mind creating a Dora the Explorer birthday cake for Maggie, promising to pay her. Taryn gladly did it for free.
When Maggie saw the cake, she went ballistic, Taryn later said.
The surprise birthday party was the first time Taryn visited Evelyn's home and she noticed it was spotless. The dining table was heaving with treats. Taryn peeked into Maggie's room and thought it looked lovely and girly.
"Maggie seemed to be the happiest kid on earth. She was so bubbly and I don't remember her ever being quiet. She would run up and give (us) a big hug and a squeeze," Taryn told police.
Platform Charitable Trust chair Marion Blake is forthright in her critique of New Zealand’s mental health strategy.
Wellington-based, she has years of knowledge and experience and is sick of the same tired stories. Lack of mental health hospital beds. Articles that stereotype and denigrate mental illness. Cases like Evelyn’s are extremely rare.
She is critical of the lack of a consistent national approach and how often it takes a crisis to get people admitted for help. She would like to see designated self-help clinics. Critics say this will lead to an overwhelming of services, but Blake is adamant.
“The worried well is a pejorative term. My view is that, if you're persistently using the doctor, there's something wrong. You're not going to want that intrusion, if you're not unwell, are you?
“You can't always expect the doctors to do it. Some are fantastic, some are crap. They're sitting in their clinic and seeing people for a maximum of 15 minutes.”
Years before Evelyn arrived in New Zealand, the Mental Health Commission ordered research into mental health in migrant Asian communities. Despite Asians being a fast growing population in New Zealand, little effort at that stage had been made to address differences in culture and religion which could lead to a gap in their health care.
According to the subsequent research report, Asian cultures stigmatised mental illness and were more likely to attribute symptoms as religious, karmic, or spiritual consequences. They were less likely to articulate or seek help for mental health problems, or might describe them in a different way- such as stomach problems due to anxiety.
People with language difficulties, lack of employment, and lack of family or social support networks had barriers to their adaptation in New Zealand, and thus their likelihood of reporting and getting help for mental health problems, the report said.
“In these societies, some forms of mental illness such as schizophrenia or organic brain disorder are conceived of as supernatural punishments for wrong-doings, and as such entail intense shame and stigma.”
Evelyn joined FaithPointe church in West Harbour, which initially operated out of a home before moving to a hall. The congregation grew.
One of its first members was Dionne Tane, a dark-haired, green eyed mother of three. She and her husband had just returned from Australia after being there less than a year.
Dionne's first impression of Evelyn was that she was in need of some solid friendships. The way Evelyn opened up about her life, Dionne found endearing. Evelyn talked about Maggie’s father, and being homeless.
Dionne took people as they appeared. She tried not to judge others, and quickly welcomed the pair into her family’s home. Evelyn and Maggie brought around curries to share and Evelyn spoke about her dreams of starting her own business, shipping materials in from Malaysia and selling them online. Dionne thought that was clever.
Their kids played together. Dionne's husband delivered Evelyn firewood in winter and sometimes Dionne would take her out for lunch. Sundays rolled around and while Dionne's husband was working Evelyn would ring and say, 'can we go for lunch?' The answer was frequently 'yes, please!' A chance to get out of the house to have some adult conversation was welcome for them both.
Now living in a large new home in Te Atatu, west Auckland, Dionne chats about her old friend while her three children loiter. Nearby her mother Sharon Tane hangs off her every word. Sharon knew Evelyn too, and both women were affected by what happened to Maggie. Sharon's partner had mental illness, and he got the help he needed. Why didn't Evelyn? Sharon wonders aloud, over and over.
The kids pop their heads around the lounge room wall to spy on their mum's conversation and the youngest, just two, parades around with candy floss she's snuck from the kitchen.
"The church was good. It was what I expect from a church. When it concerned God, it was fine," Dionne says carefully.
"Normally if people need help or you're not in the right head space, the churches I've been to in the past, if you can't do it, there's always someone in that place who can help you."
The wait staff at the local Malaysian restaurant came to recognise the pair. Everyone agreed Maggie was adorable. Always smiling and happy. Her mum on the other hand, it struck the waitstaff, seemed down. Unhappy, or perhaps just tired.
The staff remembered roti was Maggie's favourite food and one was always on standby, just in case. She would eat nothing but that and a side of dahl, or occasionally a poppadom. They sat at the same table by the window, Evelyn encouraging Maggie to wave goodbye when they left.
Worker Jumari Abdul Rahman became close to Evelyn, though the pair weren't romantic. Their first conversation was after Maggie made a mess. Embarrassed, Evelyn apologised profusely. In Malay, she told him to call her Kath.
Occasionally Jumari stopped by Evelyn's home and remembered being struck by her festive decorations at Christmas. Malaysians were usually Muslim, but Evelyn was Christian and celebrating Jesus Christ. Jumari gave Maggie $20 as a Christmas present.
The last time he saw her he brought takeaways from the restaurant.
"I remember calling and texting Kath at first and she would say that she was good- not long conversations, only a few minutes. From then on Kath stopped replying to my text messages and answering my phone calls, I don't know why," Jumari told police.
"I didn't try and visit her because I thought that she might not like this anymore, so I left it.”
Ana Maria Salazar de Rouz worked for an in-home kids’ tutoring programme, and door knocked Evelyn a year before everything fell down.
Ana explained the programme and later returned with bedding and books that had been donated to the organisation for families in need.
Ana was struck by the home’s impeccable state. Normally when she door knocked parents she caught them unawares, before they'd had a chance to straighten the house. Evelyn's house was extremely clean.
Ana noted Evelyn doted on Maggie, who was always impeccably dressed and well-mannered. In August 2014, Evelyn enrolled Maggie in tutoring. The enrollment form asked: What is something about your child that makes them special? Evelyn wrote: "She is all I have in the world. Makes me keep going."
"Evelyn was totally dedicated to Maggie," Ana later told police.
"To the point that, when Maggie needed a cream for a skin condition, Evelyn spent $30 on a small tube of this, even though it was hard to put the money aside for this. She lived for Maggie."
Maggie's tutor was Jasmine Here. The tutelage was to prepare children for primary school, and Jasmine met Evelyn and Maggie for an hour a week. Jasmine found that Evelyn and Maggie were both keen learners.
A mother herself, Jasmine is happy to share her time with Evelyn and Maggie. It's a subject she holds close to her heart, she says.
"Maggie was a very bright and intelligent, beautiful child," Jasmine says.
"She was such a delight to be around. Whenever Evelyn spoke to Maggie it was very soft and clear.
I believe Evelyn loved and cared for Maggie a lot. They both had such a lovely nature. It's very unfortunate it's all come to this.
Jasmine recalled Evelyn saying she had asked to swap tutors.
"The reason why she no longer wanted the tutor was because she was Tongan and she had a Tongan neighbour who she was worried about. I think she said the neighbour was stalking her and that they had had an argument."
Evelyn felt like people were watching her all the time, including the police. They were in a conspiracy with her neighbours, she told Dionne one day. By this point, Dionne noticed Evelyn was very tired. She stopped eating, she had dark circles under her eyes and she smoked all the time. Dionne noticed the way Evelyn sucked on the cigarettes was like someone dragging deep, cathartic relief.
At some stage, Evelyn pursued deliverance ministry, which Dionne tries to explain.
"It’s for people that want to be close to God. It's not just superstitious - you have to have the gift. People that work in that area break off curses, unblock things that have a hold on you. That wasn't the first time she'd been."
Her final ministry tipped Evelyn over the edge, Dionne says. Evelyn believed people were filming her. She had gone to the therapy for help. Now she believed the women there were in on the conspiracy.
"All the stress was on her shoulders. I used to say to her, you've got to eat or your body gets all out of sorts. It can cause you to be a certain way, and lack of sleep brings on anxiety."
Dionne was struggling herself. She had just given birth to her youngest and was trying to keep her family together. While she empathised with Evelyn, she had her own life going on and she increasingly found less time to spend with her friend, instead opting for the occasional phone call.
She offered to pray for Evelyn, listened patiently and offered advice as best she could. She was blunt. She told Evelyn to leave bad things in the past, encouraged her to talk to her parents, and echoed advice members of FaithPointe gave to Evelyn, suggesting she visit her doctor.
Evelyn asked what Dionne thought about going to the doctor again. Evelyn was frightened she would lose Maggie and their home if authorities became involved. She'd worked so hard to get that house, to get Maggie the tutorage, to get her a family.
"She said, 'the church told me I need to go and get mental health help, but what's going to happen to Maggie?' She was very paranoid about that,” Dionne says.
"She didn't want to go into the mental health system, did she mum?"
“To be perfectly honest, there’s an element of truth in that, particularly in relation to her child,” Debra Lampshire says.
Although Evelyn’s fears of losing her home and her child dissuaded her from seeking further help, it wouldn’t be out of the question for a friend or support person to accompany her to the doctor, she says.
“I’m just surprised that people weren’t curious enough to explore it further with her, and then to actually make that call.
“When people are expressing thoughts that don’t seem to fit with what's going on in their world, you don’t need any specialised knowledge of [mental health]. What you need to do is be curious, and care.
“I would go with her (to the GP). When you care about someone and something is going on, you take it to the next step. Say, ‘I feel concerned and worried. I will come with you and support you’. They need to know someone is on their side. [That] I actually give a damn about you and I’m going to support you through this.”
Lampshire says mental health groups need to start contacting the obvious alternative places of support for people who are reluctant to self refer, or visit their doctor.
“We really need to be reaching out to the churches because that’s exactly where you go when you’re stricken. Our faith seems an obvious place to go, the same as your GP, and close friends.”
James Anson draws in a deep breath hearing Evelyn and Maggie's names.
That splinter of pain he'd almost forgotten. The FaithPointe pastor chats easily, but declines a meeting. FaithPointe's website reveals he has brilliant white hair and square black glasses.
"The signs that we saw with her were paranoid, delusional type behaviour,” Anson says.
“She was particularly suspicious of the police, from what I understand … it was either her husband, or partner … but he had a close friend in the police and she would say to us that he was using his relationship with his friend to get information on her.”
He's been in full-time ministry for about 30 years, the website says, and has served in many churches with wife Viv. In 2013, the pair established FaithPointe.
"I'm a little bit guarded over the whole thing. You know, simply because the police gave us the once over. We were interviewed extensively, separately, with key people. So we've kind of been through the whole thing with the police," he says.
"And you know, we really loved little Maggie, and it was really, really difficult for all of us when we found out what had happened. And shocked."
It was clear to he, his wife, and fellow pastor Anthony Beamish from the get-go that things weren't right with Evelyn.
"We knew that she was already seeing her GP, and from what I understand he prescribed her antidepressants. That's what she told us. And because we could see that she was struggling with her thoughts, and what was perceived, what was real or not real ... we said you've got to go back and get reevaluated with your medication."
The advice wasn't welcomed by her, he says, and he was horrified to later learn she was seeking deliverance ministry, though that wasn’t necessarily people pushing that onto her since Evelyn frequently spoke about evil spirits, he says.
"That was what she used to regularly talk about. This evil spirit is bothering me, or that's happening to me, or I'm hearing a voice.
"When she started saying that they'd sent a car to watch her place, that's when I thought of she's actually gone into full paranoid delusion there."
Once, Evelyn said someone had watched her through her ceiling while she showered. Terrified, she had called the police. Flabbergasted, Anson questioned her. Did they catch him? What happened? Evelyn reported that nothing had happened, the man had scarpered.
"So, I don't even know if this took place," Anson says.
Eventually, Evelyn broke herself off from the church and as far as the pastor and its members were concerned, what became of her “was out of our hands”.
"We no longer had an ongoing relationship with Evelyn because she was … you know, stuck on her path and didn't want any input from us. Which happens a lot, by the way, in church communities. When somebody has a mental illness they will often be very stubborn and rebellious about taking their medication or whatever, and if you really put your foot down with them then they just disappear off the radar.
"I think at one stage, my wife had rung mental health to see what they could do. Because obviously our main concern at any given point of time with Evelyn, was Maggie going to be alright? So yeah, it's pretty hard to talk about that side of things."
Evelyn was fed up with the church but one night she turned up unannounced at Anthony Beamish's door. The pastor's wife was a counsellor. Beamish later told the police Evelyn walked in unannounced after several months of no contact.
"[Evelyn] begged us to take her in. She wanted to stay here for a week… as she wanted support and prayer and love. We didn't feel comfortable letting her stay.”
At the beginning of 2015, Maggie and Evelyn visited Malaysia.
To her grandparents, Cliff and Pat Sen, Maggie seemed particularly inquisitive and intelligent for her age. Specially gifted, they thought.
In contrast, her mother evidently needed help. Evelyn wasn’t living in this world, they later told police. Meaning well, they took Evelyn to a traditional healer, but Evelyn was adamant her parents were out to get her too. She accused them of shipping her off to New Zealand to be sacrificed.
Pat and Cliff won’t speak about their daughter, but they are happy to gush about Maggie and in a detailed letter they remember her well. Dinosaurs were Maggie’s favourite thing, and she tickled her grandparents by calling caterpillars 'worm butterflies', insisting they not be squashed. Ladybirds were small bugs with a colourful knapsack, Maggie explained to them.
She loved to draw. Cliff would never get over the shock of walking into his bedroom to discover Maggie had drawn the moon and stars on the walls. He bought a bucket of paint to cover it up before surrendering the rental home back to the landlord.
Maggie was innovative, Cliff said proudly. She took materials like wood, sea shells, clothes, clips, combs, flowers, leaves, and put them together to make patterns of her favourite things. Trains. Dinosaurs. Dragonflies. Fish. Flowers.
"This is a credit to her mother who brought her up with such good values; to cherish all living things, and taught her to be interested in learning many different things," Cliff’s email says.
Maggie was also "acutely sensitive", always sensing when you were sad or troubled and offering to kiss and embrace you. She would cuddle you or sit on your lap to cheer you up, they remembered. Their hearts melted when Maggie made mistakes - like the wall - and would look up at them to gauge how upset her grandparents were.
"If she sensed you were really upset, she would say ‘I'm sorry Grandma’, then wait for Grandma to say something like, ‘What you did is not correct, so don't do it again,’ and with a sorry face she would say, ‘Yes Grandma’, and give Grandma a hug,” Cliff says.
“When she woke up in the morning, which was usually after I had left for work, she would ask Grandma where I was. When Grandma told her that I had gone to work, she would say ‘Grandpa (will) miss me’. And when Grandma told her that I would be too busy working to miss her, she would insist that I would be missing her.
“When I arrived home after work, and she heard my car, she would run towards the gate and joyfully shout ‘Grandpa, I missed you Grandpa’. And when I gave her a hug and said, ‘I missed you too’, she would ... proudly say, ‘Grandma, I told you Grandpa missed me!’
“Wow! If that didn’t melt my heart,” Cliff emails.
Not everyone in the neighbourhood liked Evelyn.
One neighbour had angrily knocked on Evelyn's door to ask her to turn down music, and the only time Evelyn spoke to neighbour Shannon it seemed she wanted something. Shannon admitted to police she hid whenever she saw Evelyn.
The final time they spoke was July 2015, when they went to the ATMs. In the backseat of Shannon’s car, Maggie chatted about her trip to Malaysia and talked about the plane ride, proudly telling Shannon she was now four.
"Mum's lost school," Maggie told Shannon.
"I found that quite weird," Shannon relayed to police days later.
The call came in at 4.04am on August 7, 2015.
“She’s dead,” Evelyn told the 111 operator.
“Oh my God I’m stupid. Oh my God. I cannot live without her.”
When paramedics arrived Maggie was cold to touch, stiff, and lying on a bed in the lounge.
Evelyn explained to St John staff there were demons in her house and that she was possessed by them. Paramedics noticed shallow cuts on her wrists and Evelyn was taken to Auckland Hospital.
A pathologist later found antidepressant medication in Maggie’s bloodstream, more than 134 times an adult’s typical dosage. Evelyn had taken some too. After giving them both an overdose, Evelyn was horrified to discover in the middle of the night that she hadn’t died, and took more.
The sparse house with the girly four-year-old’s room was now a crime scene, and detectives began door-knocking neighbours. For a long time, Maggie’s death was a mystery, and people who were interviewed felt they were under suspicion.
The Gilmores were grilled about their access to Evelyn’s home, and what keys they carried. Members of the church were interviewed extensively. After her stint in hospital, Evelyn was transferred to the Mason Clinic, a psychiatric care facility. All the while, she refused to speak to police.
Eventually, slowly, the police worked it out. A stranger hadn’t entered the home in the dark of night. It was Evelyn. She was arrested and charged with murder and at her first appearance at the Auckland District Court lawyer Stephen Bonnar QC unsuccessfully argued that fragile Evelyn should be released on bail.
Many months later, in October 2016, Evelyn was reunited with Cliff and Pat. They sat and watched quietly in the High Court at Auckland, watching as tears slipped down Evelyn’s cheeks as Justice Mathew Downs described the years preceding August 7, 2015. Quickly, he noted Evelyn’s sense of isolation, and her lack of mental health care.
Psychiatrists from the Mason Clinic described Evelyn’s motivations. She believed Maggie was being tortured for the purposes of evil and was at risk of possession. Evelyn heard her daughter screaming night after night, and could not bear her suffering, Dr Mhairi Duff explained.
“She needed to save and protect her daughter and struggled to find any other solution.
She feels she was turned away everywhere and increasingly came to realise there was nothing else that could be done.
“Overwhelmingly, she thought that the only solution was for her daughter and herself to die ... only hours later this no longer made clear sense to her.”
Evelyn was found not guilty by reason of insanity of Maggie’s murder.
She is receiving care at the Mason Clinic. Police declined to be interviewed, and the High Court at Auckland declined access to the court file.
The Auckland District Health Board declined to answer questions about the care given to Evelyn before Maggie's death, citing patient privacy. General questions sent to them about their mental health processes, protocols, and guidelines, also went unanswered.
A spokesperson said it would be inappropriate to respond to the questions, “as they are for a story about a patient who has been in our care, and you mentioned is still in the care of the regional health service”.
Director of Mental Health and Addictions, Anna Schofield, sent a statement. Summarised, it says: Auckland DHB was dedicated to working collaboratively. It aimed to identify improvements. Patients were unique and it was dedicated to providing the best care possible. Its strategy was to ensure integrated care, receiving intervention at the right place and time. Doctors can refer patients to mental health services and it has a director of primary care who works with doctors and the community to ensure GPs have the right mechanisms to ensure patient care.
Researched and written by Kelly Dennett
Artwork Tom Young
Editor John Hartevelt
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