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Workloads key to overcoming mental health crisis

PSA Media Release

Addressing staff workloads key to overcoming mental health crisis

"Staff workloads in the mental health sector are too high and are contributing to the crisis in acute mental health services outlined in a report released today by the Mental Health Commission," said Richard Wagstaff, Public Service Association National Secretary.

The PSA represents over 3,500 mental health workers throughout New Zealand.

The report entitled: The Acute Crisis: Towards a recovery plan for acute mental health services in New Zealand notes that acute inpatient units are not popular places to work with many having problems finding and keeping skilled staff.

"Staff working in the delivery of mental health services are committed, hardworking people who work in very difficult situations with unreasonably high workloads."

"In order to retain and attract staff to the mental health sector, the number of skilled staff must be increased and high workloads addressed."

"Problems in mental health are not confined to the delivery of acute services, increased funding is needed to community services to reduce demand and pressure in acute mental health."

"Mental health workers have useful skills and experience that District Health Boards and the Mental Health Commission should use to overcome the crisis identified in the delivery of acute mental health services," said Richard Wagstaff.

The PSA will be contacting the Mental Health Commission and offering to be involved in discussions about how to ensure the delivery of high quality mental health services.

ENDS

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