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

 

Call for Improved Access to Mental Health welcomed

New Zealand College of Clinical Psychologists

MEDIA RELEASE

Call for Improved Access to Mental Health and Addictions Assistance in Primary Care Welcomed

The New Zealand College of Clinical Psychologists (NZCCP) supports the Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction recommendation to increase access to mental health care through primary care services (such as GP practices). Addressing psychological issues is an important way primary care can contribute to improving the mental health and wellbeing of people in New Zealand.

Dr Malcolm Stewart, NZCCP President, commented that “Despite some growth in the number of psychologists providing assessment and therapy services in primary care teams, the number of psychologists employed in primary care is very low in most parts of the country.” Many areas have no psychologists, while other areas can see about half a percent of their population in any year[1]. Dr Stewart emphasised that “There is a clear unmet need at present, especially as one in five New Zealanders have mental health or addiction difficulties in any year[2].” Previous research showed that 36% of people visiting GPs had one or more diagnosable mental health disorder[3].

Psychological therapies help to resolve or prevent the deterioration of many mental health and addictions difficulties for which people see their GP. Psychological therapies can help people to manage and cope with physical health conditions and minimise the negative impact on their lives. In primary care, psychological therapies are generally brief, practical, and focused on helping people make positive gains in their health and wellbeing.

Although many people seek assistance from psychologists in private practice, Dr Stewart said “For those and who suffer from mild-moderate mental health and addictions difficulties and cannot afford private help, being able to access psychological services through primary care is a major advantage.” In some areas, people can see a psychologist at their usual GP practice, but in others they may be referred to a stand-alone psychology service.

Psychological therapies are provided by psychologists and other skilled professionals, including trained practice nurses. Dr Stewart said “Increasing the number of psychologists in primary care will help to improve access to psychological therapies for people in New Zealand. NZCCP members are committed to supporting the provision of skilled and safe psychological therapy interventions.”

[1] Psychology Workforce Task Group (Ministry of Health/Health Workforce New Zealand). (2017). “How Many Psychologists? A discussion paper about the number of psychologists needed in the health service in New Zealand.

[2] Oakley Browne, M. A., Wells, J. E., & Scott, K. M. (2006). Te Rau Hinengaro: The New Zealand Mental Health Survey. Wellington: Ministry of Health.

[3] MaGPIe Research Group. (2003). The nature and prevalence of psychological problems in New Zealand primary healthcare: a report on the Mental Health and General Practice Investigation (MaGPIe). New Zealand Medical Journal, 116(1171): U379

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Facebook Announces New Changes: Combating Hate And Extremism

Some of these changes predate the tragic terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, but that attack, and the global response to it in the form of the Christchurch Call to Action, has strongly influenced the recent updates to our policies and their enforcement. More>>

Amazon Confirms: Lord Of The Rings Series To Shoot In NZ

Amazon Studios announced today that its series based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s iconic fantasy novels The Lord of the Rings will shoot in New Zealand. Pre-production has started, and production on the series will begin in Auckland in the coming months. More>>

ALSO:

Birds: Dunedin's Bells Ring As City Celebrates Its Albatross

The city's churches, schools and public buildings bells would chime in unison from 1pm, in what has been a long-standing tradition marking the return of the birds - and a farewell to this season's albatross chicks. More>>

Oscar Buzz: Waititi's Jojo Rabbit Wins People's Choice Award At Toronto

Taika Waititi's new film Jojo Rabbit has nabbed the coveted Grolsch People's Choice Award at the close of Toronto International Film Festival. More>>

ALSO:

Broken Estate: An Expat Expert Surveys Our Media

Melanie Bunce cut her teeth in journalism at the Otago Daily Times. Now she teaches and researches it at one of the UK’s most prestigious journalism schools and tracks the trends that shape the uncertain future of news... More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland