Mental Health & Addiction Update - 18 May 2022

on 19 May


In this edition:

  • Join the conversation – online hui for the System and Service Framework
  • New Zealand at the International Association of Suicide Prevention Asia Pacific Conference
  • Pink Shirt Day
  • New web tool for Mental Health and Addiction Service Use data
  • Minister visits primary mental health and addiction services in the Bay of Plenty
  • Charities and community groups helping people through

Kia ora koutou

Yesterday morning I was privileged to be in Christchurch with the Health Minister where he made a pre-budget announcement of a $100 million boost for specialist mental health and addiction services.

This funding package is extensive and will go into community-based mental health crisis services, specialist child and adolescent services, and workforce development, with further announcements still to come. You can read the Minister’s media release on the Beehive website.

Philip Grady Deputy Director-General, Mental Health and Addiction

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

This was an important announcement because specialist mental health and addiction services have been under considerable pressure for a long time, and this funding will start to ease some of the immediate pressures, provide better support for people who are experiencing more serious mental health and addiction issues, and enable new models to be trialled to better meet the needs of people.

While this is a critical next step in rebuilding our mental health and addiction system, it is important to note that we will need sustained effort and investment to fully address pressures on specialist mental health and addiction services.

The Minister also announced that access to Mana Ake, the successful mental wellbeing and resilience programme for primary and intermediate school-aged children, will be expanded. This announcement means we can continue to build on the programme in Canterbury and Kaikōura and deliver the same wellbeing support to children in Northland, Counties Manukau, Bay of Plenty, Lakes and West Coast.

We are moving closer to 1 July, when Health New Zealand and the Māori Health Authority will stand up. These reforms provide the opportunity to further strengthen services – from care provided in the community, through to specialist services. I can confirm that functions from the Mental Health and Addiction Directorate will transfer to interim Health New Zealand, and my team is working through the logistics and implications of this change. There’s still a lot of information to come, but it’s important to remember that our work programme and funding will continue.

Finally, I’d like to remind you all that registrations are open for the Leadership Exchange, which will be held in October this year. The International Initiative for Mental Health connects mental health leaders to share innovations, network and problem solve across countries and agencies.  The overall aim is to promote mental health and well-being for everyone, and you can find out more information on the Te Pou website.

Ngā mihi nui,

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