Mental Health & Addiction Update - 16 September 2021

on 17 September


In this edition:

  • What’s ahead for the MHA Directorate

  • Farewell from Toni Gutschlag

  • Consultation is still open on the strategy to prevent gambling harm

  • World Suicide Prevention Day

  • Free support for people bereaved by suicide

  • Young people supporting young people


Kia ora koutou

Ngā mihi o te wiki o te reo Māori. Kia kaha tō kōrero i te reo Māori! Greeting all in this week of te reo Maori. Be strong in your speaking of te reo!

It’s been really heartening this week to see all the messages of support and the focus on mental wellbeing directed towards our colleagues, friends and whānau doing it tough in Auckland. While much of this has come from our sector, I have been really pleased by the response from the rest of New Zealand who have also been sending aroha to Auckland.  

Philip Grady Deputy Director-General, Mental Health and Addiction

Philip Grady
Acting Deputy Director-General, Mental Health and Addiction

Those of us not living in Alert Level 4 certainly appreciate and acknowledge the hard mahi Auckland is doing in stopping the spread of this Delta Covid-19 outbreak. It is my sincere hope that testing remains high, case numbers trend low, and Auckland can move down alert levels as soon as safely possible.

We have seen an increase in the uptake of wellbeing support services in Auckland, many of which are being provided by those managing their own challenging situations. I want to personally thank all of you involved in making this happen.

Although our Covid-19 response has shifted some of our focus and resources in the Directorate, we are still driving ahead with an important and large programme of work and upcoming consultation. 

We are acutely aware of the opportunity we have to shape the mental health and addiction sector into a system focused on providing better mental health and wellbeing outcomes for all New Zealanders. We also want to make sure the new system supports and boosts our outstanding mental health and addiction workforce.

A reminder too that consultation on the draft strategy to prevent and minimise gambling harm is still open and other sector-wide consultations are in the works. I encourage you to get involved and look out for information to share through your networks, there are some more details on this below.

Before I go, I also want to acknowledge the contribution of Toni Gutschlag, who I have replaced in the acting Deputy Director-General role. Toni has stepped into a new role in the DHB Performance and Support Directorate, and we wish her all the best with that.

Ngā mihi,

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