Mental Health & Addiction Update - 22 January 2021

on 22 January


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

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


Kia ora whānau

Happy New Year!

I hope you had a relaxing and refreshing break over the holiday season.

I was lucky to be able to spend quality time with my family and friends and really enjoyed being able to reconnect and reflect on what an unusual year 2020 was.

I’d like to start by sending a big thank you to all of our essential workers and everyone who has worked through a time when many of us were relaxing – your efforts do not go unnoticed.

For some, the return to work after a long break can be a bit of an adjustment. According to the World Health Organization, we spend about one-third of our lives at work, so it’s important to find ways to maintain our wellbeing in the workplace. Here are some great wellbeing tips to help ease the transition back into work and I encourage you to share these with your teams.

Over the next few weeks, I’m planning to visit a range of people across the sector in a few places around the country. It’s important to me to hear directly from you about what’s working well and what opportunities there are to work together to make improvements. I’m looking forward to sharing some of these in future updates.

One of our priorities for the beginning of this year is to work on the development of the long-term pathway. The long-term pathway builds on the Kia Kaha plan – which I’m pleased to be able to provide you an update on below – which focuses on the next 18 months to transform New Zealand’s approach to mental wellbeing. That’s something that everyone has a role to play in.

We have heard from a lot of stakeholders about what needs to happen to transform our approach since the Government responded to He Ara Oranga, and we’re looking forward to getting more input to help us continue to shape the pathway. We’ll be updating you on how you can be involved in the coming weeks.

Ngā mihi o te tau hou


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