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Input invited on draft action plan

Hon Pete Hodgson
Minister of Health

24 March 2006 Media Statement

Input invited on draft action plan

A draft action plan to implement Te Tahuhu – Improving Mental Health has begun consultation this week Health Minister Pete Hodgson today.

Pete Hodgson said that service users, family, funders, providers and other interested people will have an opportunity to help finalise the action plan at 6 meetings throughout New Zealand during April.

"The Ministry of Health welcomes feedback on the draft document so I hope people will take the opportunity to attend meetings or to read the draft action plan." Pete Hodgson said.

All information on the draft action plan can be accessed through the Ministry of Health website ( Submissions to the Ministry of Health can be made in writing or by email.

The Government released Te Tahuhu – Improving Mental Health 2005-2015: The Second New Zealand Mental Health and Addiction Plan in June 2005 and asked the Ministry of Health and District Health Boards, working with sector stakeholders, to jointly develop an action plan. An Advisory Group was established in August 2005, chaired by Memo Musa Chief Executive Officer Whanganui District Health Board.

Te Tahuhu – Improving Mental Health continues Government’s commitment to investment in mental health and addiction and describes a set of outcome statements that provide the overall direction for Government investment, along with identifying ten leading challenges that need to be addressed for Government outcomes to be achieved. The ten leading challenges cover the spectrum from prevention/promotion to primary care to specialist mental health and addiction services.

The draft action plan develops specific actions to directly address these ten leading challenges.


Background Information

How does this plan build on existing mental health strategies?
The National Mental Health Strategy comprises Looking Forward: Strategic Directions for the mental health services, Moving Forward: The National Mental Health Plan for more and better services and Te Tahuhu – Improving Mental Health 2005-2015: The Second New Zealand Mental Health and Addiction Plan. In addition to these documents, the Mental Health Commission's Blueprint For Mental Health Services in New Zealand: How things need to be is an important document that established service levels that guide the development of specialist mental health and addiction services. The Government remains committed to implementing the Blueprint.

Will there be major changes to mental health services?
The draft action plan builds on the directions in Te Tahuhu – Improving Mental Health. It focuses on developing a comprehensive integrated mental health and addiction system that co-ordinates early access to effective primary health care, with an improved range and quality of specialist mental health and addiction services that are community based and built on collaborative relationships.

How can this be achieved?
The draft action plan identifies a concerted series of actions across the ten leading challenges of Te Tahuhu - Improving Mental Health that continue on the path of improving the availability, responsiveness and quality of services, through greater integration and collaboration.

How will PHOs be involved?
The establishment of PHOs provides a significant opportunity for the further development of mental health care in the primary health care sector. They offer an opportunity to develop effective services, establish alliances with providers and weave mental health considerations into every aspect of primary health care. Primary health care practitioners are best placed to identify potential and existing mental health problems at an early stage. The draft action plan includes actions to strengthen the linkages between primary health care and specialist mental health and addiction services and encourages PHOs to make mental health and wellbeing an integral part of PHO/primary health care promotion.

Where and when will the meetings be held?

Tuesday 4 April, 9.30am-2.00pm, Kingsgate Hotel, 9 Riverside Drive, Whangarei

Wednesday 5 April,9.30am-2.00pm, Copthorne Hotel Auckland, 196-200 Quay Street, Auckland

Thursday 6 April, 9.30am-2.00pm, Ferrybank Reception and Conference Centre, Grantham Street, Hamilton

Friday 7 April, 9.30am-2.00pm, Copthorne Hotel, Cnr Boulton Street and Gilmer Terrace, Wellington
Monday 10 April, 9.30am-2.00pm, Commodore Airport Hotel, 449 Memorial Avenue, Christchurch

Tuesday 11 April, 9.30am-2.00pm, Mercure Hotel, 310 Princes Street, Dunedin

How else can submissions be made?
Consultation begins on 24 March and ends on 28 April 2006. Meetings will be held between 4 April and 11 April 2006.

Written submissions can be sent to:
Te Tahuhu Action Plan
Ministry of Health
PO Box 5013

or by email to:

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