Mental health transformation needed

Minister of Health David Clark. Photo: RNZ/Dom Thomas.

A transformation for those with mental health and addiction services for people with mild to moderate needs is taking an important step forward today, says Health Minister Dr David Clark.

The Ministry of Health is holding the first of five workshops with mental health and addiction leaders and those with lived experience to discuss plans for new frontline services announced in the Wellbeing Budget.

“The Wellbeing Budget allocated $455 million over four years to create a new frontline mental health and addiction service,” says David.

“Greater access to services and more choice about the kinds of support available are a core part of this work, including in Kaupapa Maori organisations, Pacific organisations, general practices, community and youth settings.

“These new services must be easy to access, easy to navigate, and they must help people,” says David.

The new services will be rolled out nationwide over five years in recognition of the need to train more qualified mental health workers and build new facilities.

“It will take time to get the sector, communities, people with lived experience and Māori together to design the services that are required, which is why it’s important this is beginning already.

“While this is going on, there is additional funding within this initiative to support existing services which are already doing good work to help people,” David says.




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