Mental Health & Addiction Update 13 December 2019

on 4 February


Mental Health & Addiction update

Kia ora,

Robyn Shearer, Deputy Director-General, Mental Health & Addiction, Ministry of Health

Welcome back to 2020. A new year and a new decade!

I hope you all had a relaxing and refreshing break as we gear up for another busy year. I had a really good couple of weeks and managed to get some time with family, friends and the outdoors - a good combination.

It’s also a good for your mental health to come back and get onto planning your next holiday so you have something to look forward to.

Within the Mental Health and Addiction directorate we are committed to making sure we focus on our own wellbeing – as well as wellbeing within the healthcare system. We talk so much about this being an important part of mental health, yet don't always practice it as we should.  Focusing on nutritious food, sleep and exercise is a great way to start - but of this will only happen if we build it into our days!

A major focus for us this year to work with the sector on the long-term pathway for where the mental health and addiction system needs to head to.  This will guide all of our activities over the coming years and show us where we need to put emphasis on being different.  

I came across a great example of thinking differently this week.  NZ Rugby launched a video series this week called “Being Men”.  “Being Men” is a video series that explores wellbeing, healthy relationships and good masculinity from the perspective of New Zealand men. The series will form part of the HeadFirst wellbeing programme run by NZ Rugby and is available to the public on the HeadFirst site.

I was lucky enough to attend the launch and was really impressed with this work and encouraged about how it can lead to different conversations about wellness and mental health. 

I’m excited about the year ahead and what can be achieved within our sector.  I’ve met with many of our partners and stakeholder already this year and I’m looking forward to working with you over the coming months as we work towards improving mental health outcomes for New Zealand. 

Each week I meet with people from across the sector, across government and people who are doing fantastic things within the community.  I tend to share these either on LinkedIn or Twitter @robyn_shearer. Please feel free to connect with me there and join the conversation.

Ngā mihi nui,
Robin Shearer


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