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Appointment of Mental Health Commissioners

MENTAL HEALTH FOUNDATION OF NEW ZEALAND

MEDIA RELEASE

23 May 2008

For immediate release

 

Appointment of Mental Health Commissioners

The Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand was pleased to learn of the Minister of Health’s appointment of the new Mental Health Commissioners. However it is surprised and disappointed that, in a departure from past practice, that there is no Commissioner with service user experience.

The Foundation believes that the added value of having a Commissioner with lived experience has been clearly demonstrated, contributing to the authenticity and legitimacy of the Commission.

“The inclusion of a service user at governance level is living proof of the Commission’s understanding and continued commitment. Clearly the Mason Inquiry gave considerable thought to its recommendation in 1996 that one of the three commissioners should be from the ‘lay public’ and preferably with consumer experience,” says Judi Clements, Chief Executive of the Foundation.

“This was never a token gesture but a vital part of the governance arrangements to ensure that the Commission carries out its functions, particularly ‘to act as an advocate for the interests of people with mental illness,” she says.

ENDS

 

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