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First Asian report a challenge for health sector

First Asian report a challenge for health sector

Health Minister Annette King says the first report into the mental health issues faced by new immigrant Asians presents the mental health sector with a number of challenges.

Ms King commended the Mental Health Commission for producing its first ever Asian-focused document. The document was launched by Prime Minister Helen Clark in Auckland today.

Ms King says the report reveals that there are barriers to Asian people with mental health issues accessing mental health services.

“The report says it is essential that the formal mental health care system becomes more responsive to the needs of Asian communities. This involves understanding Asian cultures better, providing more interpreter services and developing educational materials.

“This report gives us much of the information we need to improve our responsiveness to the mental health needs of new immigrant Asians, refugees and fee-paying students,” says Ms King.

“New Zealand’s population is becoming increasingly diverse, and Asians are the fastest growing ethnic population in New Zealand. In the decade between 1991 and 2001 the number of Asians in New Zealand almost doubled to 240,000 or 6.4 percent of the total population.

“I am pleased that we now have a better understanding of the issues faced by Asian immigrants and their mental health needs.”

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