Mental Health & Addiction Update - April 2023

on 28 April

Mental Health & Addiction update

In this edition:

  • Message from Kiri Richards.
  • Oranga Hinengaro System and Service Framework published.
  • Updated Seclusion and Restraint Guidelines.
  • New website to better connect people to free wellbeing services.
  • Accurate data is vital to improve services.
  • Joining up to prevent harmful social media content.

Message from Kiri Richards
Associate Deputy Director-General of Mental Health and Addiction

Kia ora koutou

I hope this email finds you and your loved ones well and you've had an opportunity to rest and relax and look after your own wellbeing over the Easter break and ANZAC day.

We have plenty to update you on this month and I’m pleased to announce some exciting milestones in our work to transform our approach to mental health and addiction in Aotearoa.

As you’ll read later in this update, we’ve now published the Oranga Hinengaro System and Service Framework and I know many of you will be eager to know what the next steps are to implement the system shifts set out in the framework.

Another important milestone we've achieved this month was releasing our updated guidelines on reducing and eliminating the use of seclusion and restraint for people being treated and cared for under the Mental Health Act. We’re still working on the repeal and replacement of this Act, but in the interim we're using every opportunity possible to support the system and cultural shifts required to work towards more human rights-based approaches. These guidelines, and the recently launched Mental Health Act online training, are further examples of how we don't have to wait for new legislation to improve care and practice for all.  

I was delighted to see the new Access and Choice website launched by Te Whatu Ora making it easier for people to find free and accessible mental health and wellbeing services close to home. These services are of course just a selection of all the great mental health and wellbeing support happening in our communities. Giving people choice of services is vitally important to achieving the vision of Pae Ora (healthy futures) set out in Kia Manawanui Aotearoa: Long term pathway to mental wellbeing - where people are supported to stay well, and get the support they need, when and where they need it.

Our thoughts continue to be with whānau and communities as they recover from the devastating floods and cyclone events earlier this year. Our aroha and thanks also go out to all the kaimahi who have supported and are continuing to support the response.

Take care and I hope you enjoy reading the updates below. 


Oranga Hinengaro System and Service Framework published

We recently published the Oranga Hinengaro System and Service Framework which sets the direction for the future mental health and addiction system and services over the next 10 years.

It provides guidance for those responsible for publicly funded health system policy, design, commissioning, and delivery.

The framework is the collective effort of many, and we'd like to extend our thanks to everyone who contributed to the development of this framework. 

Read the Oranga Hinengaro System and Service Framework.

Read the news item: New guidance for mental health and addiction system and services. 

Family walking on the beach in the sun.

Image of dad talking to toddlers. 

Members of the Expert Advisory Group after the final meeting.

Image of young fern frond unfurling.

Updated Seclusion and Restraint Guidelines

The updated guidelines around reducing and eliminating the use of seclusion and restraint when working with people being treated and cared for under the Mental Health Act are now available.

These guidelines will help shift practices towards a restraint and seclusion free environment, in which people’s autonomy, dignity and mana are maintained.

They were developed with advice and insight from people with lived experience of restrictive practices, Māori and clinical advisers.

Read the Guidelines for Reducing and Eliminating Seclusion and Restraint.  

Website to better connect people to free wellbeing services

A new Te Whatu Ora website gives people and their whānau an easier way to find free mental wellbeing support for people whose thoughts, feelings or actions are impacting on their health and wellbeing.

The website brings all the Access and Choice service providers together in one place and includes a search tool for people to find support near them. 

Access and Choice services are made up of four streams, Integrated Primary Mental Health and Addiction (IPMHA) services which are accessed via a general practice (GP), as well as specific Kaupapa Māori, Pacific and Youth providers.

Services are free and there are no referral criteria. However, for services accessed in a GP setting, service users will need to be enrolled with that provider.

Every month, tens of thousands of New Zealanders experience the benefits of managing their mental wellbeing through the Access and Choice programme. 

See the new website:

Attendees at a hui run by the Suicide Prevention Office and the Maori Health Directorate

Boost your wellbeing graphic.

Image of the front page of He Arotake ngā Tūraru Reviewing risk: A discussion paper.

Image of laptop with graphs and charts.

Accurate data is vital to improve services

We’re asking all services to ensure your data is updated in PRIMHD - the national mental health and addiction data collection.

Up-to-date and accurate data helps to develop more efficient, higher quality, safer and more personal mental health and addiction care and support for individuals and whānau.

The information collected helps us to understand what services are being provided around the motu and how long people are waiting for services. 

If you need help with reporting or updating your data please contact

Read about PRIMHD at:

Joining up to combat harmful online content

Last month the Suicide Prevention Office (SPO) hosted a hui focused on better protecting people from harmful online content.

Dr Sarah Hetrick, Acting Director of the SPO says exposure to harmful content on social media is a serious and complex problem and one that requires a coordinated approach across government.

The hui focused on developing a joined-up process to quickly respond and remove harmful content from a platform, reviewing the current online safety resources and identifying where more resources were needed.  

The SPO provides national leadership for implementing Every Life Matters: He Tapu te Oranga o ia tangata Suicide Prevention Strategy 2019-2029. 

He Tapu te Oranga o ia Tangata outlines a clear vision: by working together we can achieve a future where there is no suicide in Aotearoa New Zealand. 

Read Every Life Matters – He Tapu te Oranga o ia Tangata: Suicide Prevention Strategy and Action Plan.

Te Pou board member Dean Rangihuna leads a waiata during the launch

Representatives from the Classification Office, Netsafe, NZ Police, Ministry of Education, Clinical Advisory Services Aotearoa, Mental Health Foundation and the SPO at the hui at Manatū Hauora in Wellington.

Other news

Applications open for forensic kaimahi grant

  • Applications for the next Forensic Mental Health Services Workforce Development Grant open on Monday 1 May and close midday Wednesday 31 May.
  • Available for non-clinical and cultural kaimahi working in regional adult forensic mental health services, the grant will help cover course or training costs that align with the Let’s get real framework and will help participants to improve health outcomes for Māori accessing forensic mental health services.

Find out more about the grant and apply here.

Ministry of Health - Manatū Hauora

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