Media Releases

Mental health patients, whānau and staff deserve dignity and respect

18 July 2016

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) is calling for a mental health system that treats every patient and staff member with the dignity they deserve.

Responding today to news that the Chief Ombudsman is considering an investigation into mental health practices and services, NZNO Chief Executive Memo Musa reaffirmed the ‘recovery’ approach to mental health is strongly supported by mental health nursing staff, and by NZNO.

“Having worked in mental health nursing myself for over 20 years, I understand how extremely challenging this environment can be for patients, whānau, and nursing staff” he said. “We literally guide patients through the worst day of their lives. This very challenge is why many nurses are drawn to work in mental health. But to do this safely takes not only skill and compassion, but appropriate resources.”
“Good mental health outcomes starts with public health promotion, prevention of illness, and destigmatisation for people to get the help they need early on. Investing in the primary and specialist mental health and addiction services we need in our communities is vital for safe care.”
“I strongly believe that mental health staff and District Health Boards want to do best by the communities that rely on them. The only approach that we as health professionals endorse is one that's humane, and upholds the human rights of those who give and receive care." 

"If the Ombudsman undertakes this inquiry, we urge him to take a holistic view, and include the resourcing, facilities, training, and safe staffing mix that are available to mental health staff caring for these vulnerable patients. Te Ao Māramatanga, the NZ College of Mental Health Nurses also supports investing in services that promote wellness and recovery. All mental health professionals want to be able to provide the very best care.”
“Everyone deserves the right care, at the right time, in their own community. Mental health services and patients should be treated no differently than any other healthcare need.”

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