I was pleased this week to hear an update from Professor Ron Paterson, chairperson of the Mental Health Inquiry, where he said that the inquiry is now well underway. During the election campaign last year issues around mental health were second only to housing issues on the lips of voters.
In the government's first 100 days we kicked off the inquiry, which signified a major step towards improving mental health and addiction services in New Zealand. Most of us will know a friend or whanau member that has faced a mental health challenge in their lives. Plenty have reached out and received the support required, but too many still have unhappy stories to tell.
It was great to see that Professor Paterson and the inquiry panel are putting a strong emphasis on hearing as many perspectives as possible. The panel will soon release a consultation document which will give people many different options to share their views, from written submissions, to a soon-to-be-set-up 0800 number and using social media. Schools and other groups will be invited to provide video or pictorial submissions.
I would encourage anyone with a view to share their views on the best way to engage with them, along with registering your interest in the inquiry by going to: www.mentalhealth.inquiry.govt.nz or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you or someone you know would like assistance or more information on the inquiry, please get in touch with me via email: Angie.Warren-Clark@parliament.govt.nz