News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Mental Health Commission Has Head In The Sand


Mental Health Commission Has Head In The Sand Over Commissioner Appointments

The mental health sector, including people with lived experience of mental illness, are disappointed in the ‘head in the sand’ reassurances from Mental Health Commission’s General Manager, Dr Selwyn Katene. In response to protests about the government’s decision not to appoint a person with lived experience as one of the new commissioners, he said, ‘the Commission fully understands the importance of a service user perspective’.

Mental health service users disagree. ‘The Mental Health Commission has not engaged with service users in a satisfactory way for some time, and its reputation in the mental health sector is at an all time low’, said Karyn Walker, manager of the service user network, Central Potential. ‘The government’s decision not to appoint a service user commissioner has just added insult to injury. It’s like appointing a man to run the Department of Women’s Affairs’, she said in Wellington today. One of the Mental Health Commission’s new terms of reference is to advocate the interests of service users and their families.

‘The Mental Health Commission once championed innovation, service user concerns and the recovery approach. It had an international reputation.’ Walker said. ‘It has now faded into irrelevancy, and in the absence of a service user commissioner, the Commission is at risk of losing its last shred of credibility’, Walker said.

‘The only way out of this unfortunate situation is for the new commissioners to sit down with service user leaders to discuss how the Mental Health Commission can redesign its structure and processes to compensate for this poor decision made by government.’


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


DOC Alert: Penguins Ignore Police, Return To Sushi Shop

Department of Conservation rangers are on high alert for 'penguin call-outs' after they've been spotted waddling around Wellington. Yesterday the little blue penguins had to be removed from under a sushi store near the Wellington railway station, not once - but twice. More>>

Baldwin St's Steep Decline: Welsh Town Beats Dunedin For Steepest Street

Harlech, a sleepy town set in the hills of North Wales, boasts a beautiful seaside, a 13th century castle and stunning panoramic views. But the town can now add something else to the list - Harlech is officially the home of the world’s steepest street. More>>


Sport: England Wins Cricket World Cup After Super Over

New Zealand have cruelly lost the Cricket World Cup final after a Super Over - a decider more usually associated with the shorter Twenty20 format of the game. More>>


'High-Level Talks': Lord Of The Rings TV Series To Film In NZ

Amazon needed reassurance after the Christchurch terrorist attacks that New Zealand was still a safe place to film the world's most expensive television series. More>>




  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland