Press Release – New Zealand Government
Mental Health Awareness Week is a timely point at which to measure progress in New Zealand mental health services, says Associate Health Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman. ’’This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme is to connect with … Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman
Associate Minister of Health
13 October 2011
Mental Health Awareness Week time to mark progress
Mental Health Awareness Week is a timely point at which to measure progress in New Zealand mental health services, says Associate Health Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman.
’’This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme is to connect with family, friends and neighbours to strengthen your support networks. Support networks are vital for preventing people becoming unwell.
‘’It’s also important that New Zealanders can access mental health services, especially at the primary care level so interventions can take place at an early stage.
‘’Continued investment in mental health over the past three years has seen more services made available for New Zealanders, and more people getting the help they need.
‘’We have focussed on increasing access to primary mental health services for people with mild to moderate needs, with funding of these initiatives at $23.7 million compared to $20.7 million in 2008/09.
‘’That extra investment is funding extended GP consultations, more assessments and counselling sessions with clinicians and more packages of care, which include therapy and other interventions.
‘’More money is going into specialist mental health and addiction services with $1.27 billion invested in 2010/11 compared to $1.18 billion in 2008/09. We’re seeing some positive results with the number of people accessing specialist services increasing over the past two years from 112,690 to 126,703 – an increase of over 12%,’’ says Dr Coleman.
In other areas, additional funding has been made available for 100 primary care practitioners to be trained to provide intervention services for families dealing with children or adolescents who have conduct or behavioural problems.
Eating disorder services have also been boosted with additional beds at a specialist Auckland residential service and Starship Hospital. Community eating disorder services have been expanded in all regions.
With methamphetamine treatment, the Government’s Methamphetamine Action Plan is spending $22 million on funding an extra 60 residential treatment packages over three years.
‘’Mental Health Awareness Week is a reminder strong personal, family and community connections are key to maintaining mental health,’’ says Dr Coleman.
‘’The importance of mental health is reflected by the continued increase in resources that the Government is applying in this area.’’