June 25, 2020
More pūtea needed for Māori input to mental health system
The chair of the Initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission wants to see changes to the way mental health is funded so priority populations can co-design services.
Hayden Wano says the commission is reporting progress in the government’s response to He Ara Oranga, the inquiry into mental health and addiction.
He says when the actual Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is established, people want to see it prioritise genuine partnerships with Māori, Pacific peoples and people with lived experience of mental health and addiction.
Progress is also being made on a suicide prevention strategy, repealing and replacing the Mental Health Act, and expanding access and choice to publicly funded mental health and addiction services.
But he says there are pockets of success and innovation, funding mechanisms have not changed enough to support a partnership approach where priority populations co-design services from the beginning.
Mr Wano says Aotearoa New Zealand’s response to COVID-19 offered opportunities for government to accelerate work to transform the mental health and wellbeing system by embracing the strengths that emerged in the last few months, such as collaboration, high trust and a shared understanding of need and outcomes.
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