Mental Health & Addiction Update - 14 February 2022

on 14 February


In this edition:

  • Omicron response

  • Repealing and replacing the Mental Health Act

  • Postgraduate courses in Infant, Child and Adolescent Mental Health

  • Tupuānuku Research – lived experience survey of physical health care

  • Introducing Dean Rangihuna

  • Views sought on proposed NZ Income Insurance Scheme


Kia ora koutou

In my daily work I have the privilege of speaking with leaders across our mental health and addiction system. From our NGOs, DHBs, our clinical and support staff, the common theme they are constantly reflecting on is how busy and hard-working our frontline workers and wider workforce are. I wanted to start my message to you by acknowledging this and sending my thanks.

I understand from my time as a mental health nurse, we often meet people when they are going through some of the toughest and most challenging times of their lives. The work you do and the positive change you help create is life-changing for so many.

Philip Grady Deputy Director-General, Mental Health and Addiction

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

On top of the busy workloads we all juggle, attention has to be diverted to measures for the next wave of the pandemic. Omicron is beginning to make its presence felt here in Aotearoa.

A lot of work has been done in preparation for this event and as I keep reminding myself and my team, we have been here before, and there is no doubt we will get through this together.

I also wanted to touch on another piece of work that has made me feel genuinely proud of our collective mahi, the Mental Health Act repeal and replace.

Public consultation is now closed, so thank you to everyone who supported this work by making a submission, participating in the workshops, sharing information and resources, and encouraging others to get involved.

We received around 350 written submissions and held over 60 information sessions and consultation hui with around 500 people attending these. I am so grateful to everyone who made a submission, but I would like to particularly acknowledge the individuals for whom the Mental Health Act is not an abstract piece of legislation but something that has affected them, their whanau, or their community.

The submissions we received from so many people in the Lived Experience, Māori, Pacific, Asian and ethnic communities and those working in the wider sector, will help to give us clear direction. We are now reviewing and collating as we create policy proposals for what new mental health legislation in New Zealand should look like. I’ll make sure we keep you updated on developments as this important work progresses.

Ngā mihi,

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