Mental Health & Addiction Update - 2 July 2020

on 3 July


Mental Health & Addiciton update

Kia ora whānau

Robyn Shearer, Deputy Director-General, Mental Health & Addiction.

As the cold days and dark nights roll in, we have been keeping ourselves busy with a wide range of activity across our team.

Last week, the Government reached an important milestone in delivering on their response to the recommendations in He Ara Oranga. On Friday, it announced the establishment of a permanent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission, following the third and final reading in the House. I am really pleased that good progress is being made in this space and have welcomed engaging with the initial Commission over recent months as they have got up and running. You can read more about this announcement below.

We have also been working with our partners at Customs and Police, along with frontline organisations across the sector to launch a new website called High Alert. The website, and network of organisations that provide intel on new or potentially dangerous substances, aim to reduce drug harm by identifying where that harm might be taking place and issuing alerts. This is especially important at the moment, as COVID-19 may be having an impact on the drug landscape in New Zealand. You can also read more about this initiative below. My thanks to everyone who has helped to make this happen.

A quick reminder that we are seeking proposals from Pasifika-led organisations for new Pasifika primary mental health and addiction services. Find out more information and how to apply on our website or head straight to the government electronic tender systems or GETS website for the RFP document, a helpful video explaining what the Ministry is looking for and some tips for preparing a response to the RFP. The RFP is open until 31 July 2020.

I’m also excited that we are planning to open the RFP for new kaupapa Māori services next week. In response to feedback we received at several hui last year, the team have worked hard to make the procurement process more culturally aligned, so I’m hoping that will be reflected in the number of proposals we get, especially from smaller, community-based providers. Keep an eye out for details on GETS (you can sign up for alerts) and I’ll be sure to include details in this newsletter too.

I hope that you are taking advantage of the chance to spend some quality time and connect with your whānau by a warm fire on these dark evenings.

Ngā mihi nui



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