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Mental healthcare now creaking 20 years on

Mental Health Awareness Week 2016

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation says that 20 years on from the Mason Report, it is time for a review of the current mental healthcare model as there are stresses and strains in many different areas and a growing lack of leadership and cohesion.

NZNO President Grant Brookes says that aspects of the background to the 1996 Inquiry into the availability and delivery of acute Mental Health Services in New Zealand, appear to be recurring.

“We are aware of heightened public concern around the state of the mental health community,” Grant Brookes said.

“At the same time, mental health nurses are reporting a lack of vision, including leadership, for mental health. This, combined with inadequate DHB funding and NGO funding, is straining mental health teams across the country and ultimately affecting consumers.

“There is a growing call from service uses, and health professionals for an assessment of whether New Zealand is on the right track to mental wellness.

 “A fall out of the Government’s lack of vision and funding is more nurses are reporting assaults and evidently the retention of experienced staff is low.

“The system is under strain as more people are presenting in a more acute state because waiting lists for rehabilitation and counselling services are increasing. DHB mental health funding is not keeping up with population need.

“NZNO is calling on the Minister of Health to examine the different parts of mental health care so that the concept of ‘one team’ can be realised.

“Next year we reach the end of the government’s 5 year mental health strategy. This is a great opportunity for the Ministry of Health to examine whether the removal of mental health targets has been effective.

“As part of mental health awareness week, we are engaging with the People’s Review of Mental Health,” Grant Brookes said.



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