Media Releases

A health strategy that doesn’t integrate mental health is incomplete

21 April 2016

Mental health nurses around the country are wondering why strategies to improve the mental health of New Zealanders have been omitted from the New Zealand Health Strategy – Future Direction 2016.  

President of Te Ao Māramatanga, New Zealand College of Mental Health Nurses, Anne Brebner says, "We applaud a future-focussed and person-centred health strategy. We would like to see the New Zealand Health Strategy strengthened by clearly articulating the gains we have made in Rising to the Challenge Mental Health and Addictions Service Development Plan 2012- 2016."

"A lot of the work is already done. We ask the Government to integrate the learnings from the mental health and addictions strategy Rising to the Challenge to ensure our health system is holistic and effective."

Helen Garrick, of the NZNO Mental Health Nurses Section says, "Improving how mental health and addictions support can be delivered in a timely and appropriate manner is vital to improving the service that people receive.  We must have the strategy and resources to support a wide range of people with a vast range of support needs.  Rising to the Challenge clearly sets an expectation that people needs to be able to access mental health care when and where they need it."

"Alongside developments for earlier access to appropriate services, there is a need to ensure that acute service provision is provided to those who need it when they need it."

Both key organisations support the New Zealand Health Strategy and would like to see it used in a joined-up way with the Rising to the Challenge strategy.

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