New approach to supporting Kiwis‘ mental wellbeing
The Government is taking a new approach to support people who experience mental distress, Health Minister Andrew Little says.
“Kia Manawanui Aotearoa – Long-term pathway to mental wellbeing (Kia Manawanui) is the first ten-year plan of its kind that targets the cause of mental distress and also sets out how to achieve pae ora – healthy futures.
“Our mental health system was neglected for nine years under the previous government and we have taken on the massive task to fix it,” says Little.
“The mental wellbeing of New Zealanders will be better supported through this programme as it requires government agencies to work together to promote and protect mental wellbeing.”
Through Budget 2019, the Government made unprecedented investment of $1.9 billion over four years to improve mental wellbeing and address addiction.
$1.1 billion over four years went to Vote Health to support improvements to existing services and facilities and to establish a new part of the system that had not existed before.
“We have heard loud and clear the need to place greater focus on promotion and prevention, as well as providing specialist support for those with complex needs. This is part of the Government’s commitment to laying the foundations for a healthy future for all New Zealanders. Mental wellbeing and equitable care should be attainable for everyone,” says Little.
“Kia Manawanui sets out short, medium and long term actions to be taken across Government with a focus on key areas such as technology, workforce, and investment to make transformative change.
“To further ensure Government’s wider mental health programme continues to progress as it should I have also established an external oversight group chaired by Professor Judy McGregor that encompasses clinical, lived experience and governance expertise,” says Little.
“We cannot achieve healthy futures if the health sector works in isolation. Kia Manawanui calls for all of us to work together, taking action, from across Government to our communities through to individuals, so people who experience mental illness and distress can be better supported to have the resilience, tools and support they need to regain their wellbeing.”
Kia Manawanui is part of the Government’s response to He Ara Oranga: the report into Mental Health and Addiction services in New Zealand. He Ara Oranga and the cross-government investment approach from Budget 2019, is what forms the basis of Kia Manawanui.
The Minister says that over the last two years, new and expanded services are making a real difference to people’s lives. These include:
- Almost 240 general practice sites are delivering mental health and addiction services that never existed before, around 11,000 people every month are getting help through this free service.
- Eighteen contracts are in place for dedicated services that best fit the needs of young New Zealanders
- Tailored support for Māori and Pacific populations is now available within primary and community care settings
- There have been more than 570 full-time equivalent roles established to provide these new primary mental health and addiction services
- Youthline’s capacity has been boosted thanks to an additional $1 million in funding
- 74 Māori and 18 Pacific suicide prevention initiatives have been funded
- Mana Ake, which provides mental health and wellbeing support for children in primary school years 1-8, is expanding into five new District Health Board areas.
A link to the livestream will be available at:
Minister Little’s Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/AndrewLittleLabour
Ministry of Health Website: https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/mental-health-and-addiction