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Member’s Bill a step forward for mental health

10 December 2009
Media Statement

Member’s Bill a step forward for mental health

Luamanuvao Winnie Laban says she’s thrilled her Member’s Bill designed to strengthen the rights of families and whänau of patients who are being dealt with under the Mental Health Act has been drawn from the ballot.

"My Member's Bill, the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Amendment Bill was pulled from the ballot today, meaning it will probably be up for its first reading early next year.

"I'm very excited about this opportunity. The Bill will improve the rights of families and whänau of patients under the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act,” Winnie Laban says.

"It's hugely important - families and whänau have a very important role to play in the treatment and recovery of mental health patients. This Bill seeks to clarify their rights, to ensure that they are provided with sufficient information to make informed decisions about their loved ones, and about mental illness in general so that they are better equipped to give full support to their family member.

"The intention is to get family and whänau members more involved in the recovery process, which research has indicated will improve the chances of recovery.

"I'm ecstatic that the Bill has been pulled from the ballot and will receive a first reading. We now have a chance to make a real difference to the lives of people suffering with mental illness, and the people in the best position to love and support them, their families,” Winnie Laban says.

“I look forward to discussing the Bill with other political parties as their support will be essential to taking this step forward.”

Mental Health Compulsory Assessment and Treatment Amendment Bill (doc)

ENDS

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