Mental Health and Addiction report repeats well known problems

The Mental Health and Addiction report details well known problems with mental health and drug issues, and makes 40 recommendations. Will the Government actually do something major to address the issues?  Or will we just have another inquiry in a few years time, as people keep suffering and dying?

Beehive: Mental Health and Addiction report charts new direction

Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rethink how we handle some of the biggest challenges we face as a country.

The Government has today publicly released the report of the Inquiry in full, less than a week after receiving it.

“Mental health and addiction are issues for all New Zealanders. Every community and just about every family has someone in it that has lived with a mental health or addiction challenge.

“The Inquiry heard many stories of people who did not get the help they needed and deserved. We must listen to these voices of people with lived experience.

“The report charts a new direction for mental health and addiction in New Zealand, one that puts people at the centre of our approach.

“It is clear we need to do more to support people as they deal with these issues – and do a lot more to intervene earlier and support wellbeing in our communities.

“The Inquiry panel has delivered a set of strong and coherent recommendations covering everything from the social determinants of health and wellbeing, to expanding access to treatment services and taking strong action on alcohol and drugs.

“We are working our way carefully through the 40 recommendations and will formally respond in March. I want to be upfront with the public, however, that many of the issues we’re facing, such as workforce shortages, will take years to fix.

“Reshaping our approach to mental health and addiction is no small task and will take some time. But I’m confident this report points us in the right direction, and today marks the start of real change for the better,” David Clark says.

Clark and Labour said urgent action was required – last year. Now he says “Reshaping our approach…will take some time”.

ODT:  Mental health shake-up urged

Mental health and addiction services are unbalanced, under-resourced, unfocused and require a major shakeup to make them patient-centric, the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction says.

A 219-page report released yesterday made 40 recommendations in a broad assessment of health issues which affect an estimated 20% of New Zealanders each year, and 50%-80% of people at least once in their lifetime.

”We think New Zealand’s future mental health and addiction system should build on the foundations in place, but should look and be very different,” the report said.

”At its heart should be a vision of mental health and wellbeing for all … hospital and inpatient units will not be the centre of the system.

”Instead, the community will be central, with a full raft of intervention and respite options designed to intervene early, keep people safe and avoid inpatient treatment where possible.”

Some recommendations are controversial, such as setting a targets for reduction in suicides – a 20% drop by 2030 – and to measure the effectiveness of mental health and addiction services.

New Zealand’s approach to drugs needed to change, the report said.

”While New Zealand was the first country to introduce a state-sponsored needle exchange programme, we seem to have lost our spirit and failed to put people’s health at the centre of our approach.”

It was similarly forceful on the place of alcohol in society.

”We do not believe one in five New Zealanders drinking hazardously each year is a small minority,” it said.

”We also know that alcohol’s reach across society is far greater than simply the sum of its impacts on individual drinkers; families, friends and communities are all touched through one person’s drinking ”

Key recommendations

• Repeal and replace the Mental Health Act.
• Review laws and regulations concerning drug possession and sale of alcohol.
• Set a target of a 20% reduction in suicide rates by 2030.
• Establish a suicide prevention office.
• Establish a new Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission.
• Significantly increase access to mental health and addiction services.
• Make improving mental health a specific focus of the primary healthcare system.
• Strengthen the consumer voice in developing mental health and addiction programmes.
• Make families more involved in treatment.
• Improve training and retention of mental health and addiction workers.



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  1. Gezza

     /  5th December 2018

    Mikey wearing his Mrs’s pink jacket & her understated, chic black top, gives his views on the report.

  2. Gezza

     /  5th December 2018

    Might as well just repeat my comments from yesterday

    Gezza / December 4, 2018
    Accepting that there’s nothing that can be done by the MHS about piss-poor, solo, and absent parenting where that’s the underlying feature with young people, and little that this crew is likely to achieve with fixing up dysfunctional families, may even perhaps excuse & perpetuate them, but we’ll see:

    How the fuck did things get into the bloody state they’re in (National did fuck all, about but pay people to talk to each other – but the rot set in well before them)

    1. What services are needed?
    2. Where will the professionals needed come from?
    3. How many volunteer non-professionals will be taken on and how much more damage will some of them do? What will it cost to fix those?
    4. Who will co-ordinate the response – on the evidence to date the Health Department is chronically incapable of anything but putting together summaries and power-point presentations for staff of their Head Office.
    5. Why does this need another bloody commission? Why not just throw all the valueless overpaid management-jargon-talking time-wasters out of the SSC, overhaul that, then get them to sort out the bloody Health Department by doing the same thing
    6. What specific outcomes are expected?
    7. What will the cost be?
    8. How is all the massive expenditure that’s going to be needed to deal with the serious mental health problems this country now has across a whole range of population sectors which will require years, maybe a decade, to improve, going to be paid for?

    These are the questions I want to see actually addressed.

  3. Absolutely agree with your introductory comments:

  4. Blazer

     /  5th December 2018

    mental health is a symptom of any society and the conforming to it ,that people can struggle with.
    Can never be eradicated ,especially with the prescence of various legal and illegal mind bending substances.

  5. If they end the DRUG War in Aotearoa/NZ & move, most of the funds/effort to these areas then we may just get a better result.

    btw: I hear that about 80% of funds for Drug use/addiction issues are still put into Law Enforcement/Courts/Prisons ?.. NOT into treatment/health care, as they are now talking about.. “We need to do much better folks” :/

  6. Kitty Catkin

     /  5th December 2018

    The 1 in 5 drinking thing must be a rehash of the survey that proved that 1 in ? was a binge drinker, but as the amount they called a binge was so small, it would be difficult not to be one. I would like to know what this study means by it. The last one meant that my neighbour was one, judging by the number of beer tins (a dozen) that were put out in their box with the recycling. To me, a man who worked as hard as he did and went through 12 tins a week (assuming that he drank them all, which I don’t know) in the middle of summer is not a binge drinker. One every weekday and two a day at weekends…what a beast !

  7. Alan Wilkinson

     /  5th December 2018

    Health funding is screwed so long as it is provided top down to institutions instead of bottom up to patients.

  1. Mental Health and Addiction report repeats well known problems — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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