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Continued Improvement In Mental Health Services

Review Sets Direction For Continued Improvement In Mental Health Services

Both the Health Minister Annette King and Corrections Minister Matt Robson welcomed the release today by the Ministry of the Health of the review of forensic mental health services.

“The completion of this review is another important step in the process of continuing improvement of mental health services for people who are also in the justice system” said Annette King.

“For Health, a key area of importance from the report will be an increased focus on partnerships between forensic services and adult mental health services. The report also recommends further development of mental health services for assessment and treatment. This will include improved rehabilitation and extended rehabilitation for those who need continual care and rehabilitation in a secure environment for a long period of time.”

Mrs King also explained that other key features of the review were increased numbers of secure beds, enhanced court forensic services, additional services to prisons and stronger working relationships between the Ministry of Health and Department of Corrections.

Matt Robson said that achieving the needed changes will require the Ministry of Health and the Department of Corrections to continue to work together.

“It is pleasing to see in the review the provision of additional mental health services for prisons. I know that both our organisations are committed to working together to make this happen. They have already been working closely during the process of the review, and plan to continue in this way during the implementation phase,” he said.

He also acknowledged the importance of good co-operation between Health and Corrections around their respective responsibilities.


“The Department of Corrections prison health service does have responsibility for the primary mental health care of inmates. This includes assessment to enable diagnosis, referrals and intervention. However, it is critical that the Corrections role is supported by forensic mental health teams and other mental health services as outlined in the report. All the improvements will continue to assist Corrections in their role.”

Mrs King confirmed that the Ministry of Heath will be taking a lead role during the implementation phase of the review.

“We need to take a long-term view to implementing the review. Changes will not happen overnight, particularly in the area of workforce development. However, improvements have already begun and the framework outlined in the review will continue to build on these during the three-year implementation,” said Mrs King.


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