|Welcome to the first HDC newsletter of 2021.
Earlier this month, the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Act came into force. This means that the new Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission has taken on the Mental Health Commissioner’s monitoring and advocacy function for mental health and addiction services, as part of its broader wellbeing role.
I’d like to extend a huge thank you to outgoing Mental Health Commissioner Kevin Allan, who has made a remarkable contribution in his five years in the role, and who along with his team has been working closely with the new Commission to ensure a smooth transition. Kevin will stay on at HDC as Deputy Commissioner until the end of June.
Kevin and I were pleased to attend a pōwhiri earlier this month to welcome the new Commission. You can read more about the transition, and the critical challenges that remain in transforming Aotearoa’s approach to mental health and addiction, in this newsletter.
In this issue, we also share details of some useful new video resources for consumers with intellectual disabilities, and you can read HDC’s analysis of complaints involving DHBs from January to June 2020. This was a time at which the sector was under extreme pressure owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the report includes a summary of consumers’ concerns during the restrictions.
I hope you find the newsletter an informative read. We welcome your feedback – please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if there’s something you’d like to share with us.
Morag McDowell, Health and Disability Commissioner