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New Position on Mental Health Funding wins Support

New Position on Mental Health Funding wins NGO Support

Release: The Richmond Foundation

Mental health groups have applauded moves by Health Minister Annette King to protect mental health funding from being absorbed into hospital services under the new District Health Boards.

Non-governmental (NGO) service providers say they are heartened that the Minister has taken their concerns on board and acknowledged the need for mental health funds to be “ring fenced.”

NGOs currently receive around 30 per cent of all mental health funding and provide the majority of community based services.

Richmond Fellowship, one of the major service providers, says it’s pleasing to see the Government is listening to good advice and altering its position significantly.

“The Minister is to be congratulated for acknowledging the threat to mental health services under a DHB structure,” said Fellowship chief executive Dr Gerry Walmisley. “The Minister’s current position shows a commitment to ensuring that funding arrangements will not be simply absorbed by hospitals and primary care providers.”

“It is widely acknowledged by experts in community-based mental health that hospitals don’t have the expertise and can’t provide the environment that will allow the majority of people with mental illness to make a recovery.”

“Without proper guidelines to protect mental health funding, the new DHB model would favour hospital services and mental health would end up as health care’s poor cousin.

“By acknowledging the need to protect mental health funding arrangements, and through the continuation of support for the Mental Health Commission, the minister has made a significant commitment to health services.”


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