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Improving mental health

28 July 2006

Strategies on track to make progress in improving mental health

Jim Anderton Associate Minister of Health and Progressive Leader opened the 4th International Conference, hosted by the Phobic Trust of New Zealand, promoting awareness of anxiety disorders in Auckland today.

“Here and around the world, mental health disorders are a significant public health issue. The range of illnesses include depression, anxiety, nervous disorders and problems with drug and alcohol addiction, Jim Anderton said. .

"We know from two major longitudinal studies in New Zealand, that anxiety disorders start early and tend to continue for a long time. Evidence also suggests most people dying by suicide or making suicide attempts have recognisable mental health problems - anxiety disorders, depression and/or substance use disorders.

"Progress in these areas doesn't come from good intentions, but from thoughtful strategies and action.

"This Labour Progressive Government has recently launched new mental health and suicide prevention strategies, Te Tahuhu - Improving Mental Health 2005-2015, and the New Zealand Suicide Strategy 2006-2015, with the National Drug Policy 2006-2011 due for release later this year.

"These strategies show our commitment to improving the mental health of all New Zealanders, minimising the harm caused by alcohol and other drug use and abuse and preventing suicide," Jim Anderton said.

ENDS

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