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Next steps in improving mental health services

Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman

Associate Minister of Health

18 November 2010

Media Statement

Next steps in improving mental health services

Associate Health Minister Jonathan Coleman today announced the Government’s next steps to improve access to mental health and addiction services over the coming year.

Dr Coleman says improving access to services is a priority for the Government and concrete actions are being taken so people can get the help they need sooner.

‘’These steps build on existing mental health strategies Te Tahuhu and Te Kokiri, and deliver a clear set of actions to improve service delivery,’’ Dr Coleman says.

‘’Mental illness and addictions affects thousands of New Zealanders and is a major health issue. Over 116,000 people sought help from mental health and addiction treatment services in the past year.’’

The focus for action is on:
• Moving health resources to increase access to mental health and addiction services.
• Lifting system performance to enhance our communities’ mental health and wellbeing.
• Tackling alcohol and other drug-related harm.
• Integrating efforts across government for better mental health outcomes.

‘’There is some great work already being done in the sector to enhance services and these steps will help strengthen that effort,’’ Dr Coleman says.

‘’The Government’s already moved to provide more treatment for people in need. This year 60 additional residential treatment beds have been made available for methamphetamine users and more resources have been put into treating eating disorders. The Government is taking action to move more services to the frontline and to enhance New Zealanders’ wellbeing and mental health.’’

Copies of the document are available from: www.moh.govt.nz

ENDS

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