Mental Health & Addiction Update - September 2023

on 12 September

Mental Health & Addiction update

In this edition:

  • Message from Kiri Richards
  • We highlight the new e-learning module released by Te Pou
  • Share the resources created for Gambling Harm Awareness Week
  • Take a look at a new digital initiative for rangatahi Māori
  • Share information for NGOs on the international Mental Health and Addiction recruitment centre
  • Promote wellbeing in the workplace.

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

Kia ora koutou

It is a busy time in the Mental Health and Addiction space. In this newsletter, I’d like to highlight some recent milestones and showcase some of the great work happening across the sector to support mental wellbeing.

Government agrees to policy proposals for new mental health legislation 

We reached another big milestone with the Government’s agreement to policy proposals that are intended to shift legislation governing compulsory mental health care towards a more rights-based and recovery approach and enable care in line with a te ao Māori world view. The suite of policy proposals place tāngata whaiora at the centre of their mental health care by supporting and assisting them to make their own decisions and choices. I will continue to keep you updated on our progress as we work towards repealing and replacing the Mental Health Act.

Manatū Hauora now liaison for International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership

Manatū Hauora recently became the Aotearoa New Zealand liaison for the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL). I would like to thank Te Pou for acting as liaison previously. The IIMHL brings together and connects mental health leaders to help spread innovation and best practice to improve mental health and addiction services around the globe. Our membership enables individuals in Aotearoa to join IIMHL for free. If you are interested in learning more, you can join IIMHL here and receive reports and articles about work underway around the word.

Acknowledging awareness campaigns

Awareness days, weeks and months play an important role in acknowledging those with lived experience, giving visibility to issues, connecting people with services, and providing an opportunity to highlight work underway to improve outcomes for people.

Yesterday was World Suicide Prevention Day. This year’s theme ‘Creating Hope Through Action’ encourages understanding, reaching in and sharing experiences, and giving people the confidence to take action. The day acts as a reminder for people to reach out when they need support, and to offer support to each other. I want to acknowledge everyone who has lost someone to suicide, those experiencing distress, and those of you in the sector working with whānau impacted by suicide. Your contribution is making a difference.

Last week was also Gambling Harm Awareness Week, you can read more about this below.

Mental Health Awareness Week is coming up from 18 to 24 September. The Mental Health Foundation website contains a comprehensive selection of resources which you can share or use as a stepping stone for your own activity. This year's theme is Five Ways, Five Days, with the Mental Health Foundation encouraging New Zealanders to use the five ways to wellbeing to improve wellbeing throughout the week.

Take care and I hope you enjoy reading this newsletter.

Ngā mihi


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