Mental Health & Addiction Update - 16 November 2020

on 17 November




Toni Gutschlag Acting Deputy Director-General, Mental Health and Addiction

Toni Gutschlag
Acting Deputy Director-General, Mental Health and Addiction


Kia ora whānau

Experience tells us that the critical time for mental wellbeing following a significant event is not necessarily during the crisis or point of emergency, but six to 18 months after the event.

That’s why it’s so important that we keep up the wellbeing promotion, which is about fostering a sense of agency for individuals, whānau, agencies and communities, so people know what they can do to take care of their mental wellbeing, to look out for their friends and whānau and that help is available if they need it.

The summer period presents new challenges and opportunities, with people who may have less money around Christmas or may be far away from family and friends. Also, the holiday season can give people a much-needed break, opportunity to connect and to get out into nature.

This is work that everyone can help with by sharing positive wellbeing messaging with friends, family and communities or through organisational communication channels. Whatever your platform, you can help spread the word and make a difference to those around you.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve had the opportunity and pleasure to be at a number of sector forums. It’s been great to hear about some fantastic work that is going on around the country.

One of the sessions was the DHB General Managers Mental Health and Addiction, Directors of Nursing and Allied Health, and the Clinical Directors. I really enjoyed listening to the discussion and hearing where there are opportunities for greater collaboration for transforming the mental health system. It’s going to take all of us working together to achieve that. We also need to make sure we are keeping people at the centre of all we do. Read on to see more about how we are going to stay focused on that.

Ngā mihi nui



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