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Foundation supports launch of Frozen Funds Trust

MENTAL HEALTH FOUNDATION OF NEW ZEALAND

MEDIA RELEASE 14 February 2008

Mental Health Foundation supports launch of Frozen Funds Charitable Trust

The Mental Health Foundation welcomes the launch this morning of the Frozen Funds Charitable Trust.

The purpose of the Frozen Funds Charitable Trust is to provide grants for projects run by and for people who use mental health or intellectual disability services; the funding is available equally to mental health and intellectual disability services.

Judi Clements, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation says: "It is good to finally see the establishment of the Trust and we wish to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the people involved for the last 20 years in advocating for the establishment of this Trust."

The term 'Frozen Funds' refers to the interest on patient's welfare benefits paid into psychiatric and psychopaedic hospital trust accounts in the 1970s and 1980s. The interest money was kept by the institutions to fund such things as recreational projects and not given to the people resident in these institutions.

The practice ceased in 1987 and over half the interest accumulated during this time was returned to those who it was meant for in the early 1990s. The remaining interest monies were held in trust by the government while the sector worked out what to do with it.

Judi Clements, says: "Trust Chair, Mary O'Hagan, in particular needs special mention for her unstinting commitment to ensuring that the unclaimed funds be used to benefit people using those services today."

"It is still not unusual to hear people say that institutionalised confinement for people with experience of mental illness should be reinstated in New Zealand. It is my hope that projects funded by the Frozen Funds Charitable Trust will help educate and inform the public on the history of these hospitals, so we don't repeat past mistakes and have a clearer understanding of the best way forward in the care and support of people with experience of mental illness."

For more information about the Frozen Funds trust visit: www.frozenfunds.co.nz

ENDS


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