Transforming New Zealand’s Mental Health and Addiction system

Transforming New Zealand’s Mental Health and Addiction system


I feel really excited about the opportunity
we’ve got to transform the system. With He Ara Oranga over 5,000 people committed
their voices, their emotions, their energy, told their stories about what needed to change
for mental health and addiction treatment and services in Aotearoa. So we want to capture that in moving forward
with transforming the system. We have an opportunity for change and there’s
no better time to do it. I thank the Government for getting behind
us in the endeavour to make change. So the top priorities for us – co-designing
services with those people who need to be involved, people who use them, their families
whanau, practitioners and the wider community, particularly working with Maori. And we have three distinct pieces of work
that we are commencing with, that is a suicide prevention framework and action plan. We’re getting on with that work. We’ve heard through the Inquiry process that
suicide is a big concern to our community and this is not just a health response, it
is a wider response to support communities in understanding how to support someone who
may be in distress. The reform, repeal and replace of the Mental
Health Act. So that is work that we are also starting
immediately and as well as thinking about changes in policy for the Act, it is about
what we can do now to operationalise the use of current legislation. We’re are seeing too many people who are under
the use of legislation to get treatment. There are things we can do immediately to
support a different way of those people being supported. The third piece of work is on the establishment
of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission. So that is work that we will commence immediately
and give advice back to Government in June. We know that there are huge expectations about
change. That is not going to happen overnight. We do have some challenges with having a workforce
that needs to grow. We need to build our capability and skills,
and this is not just in health it’s right across government agencies and also in our
community. Many of the stories that people were about
needing more immediate help and the right sort of help, or being able to help themselves. So there is something in here about not necessarily
people being referred more to specialist services but being able to help themselves at home,
or wherever they may be where they’re calling out for something different.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *