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Ten year action plan for mental health

Hon Pete Hodgson
Minister of Health

1 August 2006 Media Statement
EMBARGOED UNTIL 6:00 PM

Ten year action plan for mental health

A ten year action plan for the improved delivery of mental health and addiction services was launched by Health Minister Pete Hodgson today.

The plan – Te Kokiri – focuses on providing earlier access to mental health and addiction services and calls for stronger linkages between primary and specialist health services.

"Mental illness and addiction will at some time affect most New Zealand families," Pete Hodgson said. "We know we have to keep assessing how we're providing mental health and addiction services and how we can do better – that's what this plan is about."

Te Kokiri identifies specific measures to improve mental health and prevent addiction. It identifies outlines milestones to be achieved, key stakeholders and organisations responsible to meet these challenges and sets the timeframes for achieving these between 2006 and 2015.

"A central component of our work will be ensuring people with mental illness and addiction have their needs addressed earlier through access to a broad range of services. This can be achieved, in part, through stronger linkages between primary care and specialist services."

In addition, the plan includes key actions designed to meet the needs of people with mild to moderate mental illness, taking advantage of the new opportunities provided by the Primary Care Strategy, including the establishment of Primary Health Organsations (PHOs).

It also includes implementation of the strategy to reduce suicide and suicide attempts, the national depression initiative, the National Alcohol Strategy and the strategy to prevent and minimise gambling-related harm.

The justice, corrections, education, housing, employment and social service communities are among the sectors that have a contribution to make either through providing social services, aligning policies that promote or maintain mental health or taking action to remove barriers to recovery.

The government has invested $999 million for specialist mental health services in financial year 2006/07 – a 75 per cent increase on 1999/2000 spending.

ENDS

See... Te Kokiri: The Mental Health and Addiction Plan (PDF)

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