Mental Health & Addiction Update - 7 October 2021

on 8 October


In this edition:

  • Vaccination rates for service users

  • Supporting DHBs to deliver mental health facilities

  • InsideOUT’s new rainbow competency training

  • Mental wellbeing tools and resources available
  • Looking for new kaupapa Māori services for Te Tauihu o te Waka a Maui

  • Funding community-led programmes

  • Update on the Health and Disability System Reforms
  • Law Commission release of Terms of Reference for review of adult decision-making capacity law

Kia ora koutou

I want to start by thanking everyone who worked hard and supported the recent Mental Health Awareness Week. It's really important we continue to talk about mental wellbeing in the most public forums and encourage those who might be uncomfortable seeking help to understand it's ok not to be ok.

More and more New Zealanders are realising just that, and seeking help. I understand that this means there is increasing demand for services, which in turn puts more pressure on you.

Philip Grady Deputy Director-General, Mental Health and Addiction

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

So while Mental Health Awareness Week has been and gone for another year, to me, every week is Mental Health Awareness Week. Even though we work in the mental health and addiction sector to help others, we must build mental wellbeing consciously and consistently into our daily life. I hope you’re all taking the time to kōrero and connect with those around you and beyond, given the separation and pressure caused by the Delta outbreak.

Speaking of Delta, one area I believe our sector needs to show more leadership is in encouraging people with lived experience of mental distress and addiction to get vaccinated. This group has a worryingly low level of first and second jabs. We understand that this community may have additional concerns and barriers to getting vaccinated, so we are working closely with people with lived experience to understand and overcome these concerns, identify and expand what is working well, and improve vaccination rates. We could really use your help with this effort too. So, if you can help, please use your influence to encourage those who we care for to get the vaccine. There's a table in this newsletter that shows just how urgently this is needed and how far behind service users are tracking with the wider general population.

On a positive note, it’s been great to see the positive reception Kia Manawanui Aotearoa – the long-term pathway to mental wellbeing has received. We have an opportunity to shape the mental health and addiction sector, and I am very excited about the plan we’ve laid out. We know there is a lot of work ahead to make sure New Zealanders are supported to stay mentally well, but progress is well underway and Kia Manawaui is another big step in the right direction. 

And finally, a reminder that it’s the last week to have your say on the draft strategy to prevent and minimise gambling harm – find out more and submit your views through the Health Consultation Hub.

Ngā mihi,

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