Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Schizophrenia Fellowship - Novartis Art Awards

25 July 2002


Jim Anderton MP

Leader of the Progressive Coalition

Sharing our talents

6:00 pm

Thursday, 25 July 2002

Schizophrenia Fellowship - Novartis Art Awards

2nd Floor, Nga Taonga Maori Area, Christchurch Library, Gloucester St

The Progressive Coalition wants a society where all New Zealanders can participate and feel they belong.

This means young and old, people in large cities as well as in our regions and smaller communities.

We mean all New Zealanders.

One group in our community which has not always been encouraged to develop their talents is those who suffer from mental illness.

I want to see people who have suffered from mental health episodes encouraged and supported to participate fully in New Zealand society.

To do this we need to treat the causes, as well as provide decent systems, for the care and cure of mental illness.

This challenge will require a coordinated approach across the whole of government, combining strategies for reducing poverty, the use of drugs, measures to improve the wellbeing of families and communities, economic development, job opportunities - and comprehensive health care.

Spending on mental health was $788 million in the last year. This is just over 10% of Vote Health.

Since this Government came to power spending on the care of mental illness has risen by 32.7% or 9.9% p.a. This is real progress towards the implementation of the Mason Report and the Blueprint for Mental Health.

We all know the causes of many mental illnesses are complex, but some major risk factors are absolutely clear: social isolation, failure of supportive relationships, unemployment, and poverty.

A hidden epidemic of depression weighs down far more people in New Zealand than official statistics show. An explosion in the use of anti-depressants points to the problem. Unless we deal with the causes, the cost projection in both human and financial terms, 10 years out, is staggeringly expensive. It is, however, the human cost which is most important.

New Zealand will never achieve all that is possible for us, unless we encourage all our citizens to lead fulfilling lives.

The Progressive Coalition ambition is that no individual or family should have to cope with mental illness in isolation.

We also want to see:

- Prompt, appropriate and free mental health services available for all New Zealanders who need them.

- Appropriate secure facilities, so that everyone involved - patients, families and communities are safe.

- Factors associated with mental illness being addressed comprehensively across all areas of government.

Many well known New Zealanders have experienced mental illnesses.

In the context of these art awards Keri Hulme, Janet Frame and James K Baxter come to mind.

Split Enz’s Mike Chunn has talked of his experiences.

Many well known artists have had some form of mental illness as well.

Although there is the international example of Vincent Van Gogh and his struggles, in New Zealand we have had Tony Fomison and Philip Clairmont.

Without their contributions to New Zealand culture we would be significantly poorer. Those who suffer from mental health episodes are all too often highly sensitive, intelligent and insightful members of the New Zealand community.

At any one time about 3 in 1,000 of the population are suffering from schizophrenia and over a lifetime about 1% will suffer from the illness.

Some argue that during a lifetime one in five people will suffer from some form of mental health episode, although this claim is often disputed. What is clear is that there are a significant number of New Zealanders and their families who are affected by a significant number of mental health disorder.

This is an issue which, in the end, affects us all.

I am pleased to see art awards such as this which encourage more New Zealanders to share their talents and skills with us.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Zimbabwe: New Democracy, Or A False Dawn?

Gordon Campbell: Robert Mugabe = Hosni Mubarak. The current jubilation on the streets of Harare at the fall of Zimbabwe’s dictator Robert Mugabe is genuine, and one hates to be negative about the country’s future. Yet the situation is eerily similar to the scenes in Cairo in early 2011, when a popular uprising swept Hosni Mubarak from power in Egypt. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>


Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>


Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election