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Mental Health Foundation welcomes the Budget 2019 priorities

Media Release

13 December 2018

The Mental Health Foundation (MHF) welcomes the Budget 2019 priorities released by the Minister of Finance today.

“The overall focus on wellbeing, and specific prioritisation of mental health for under 25-year-olds, are very encouraging,” MHF chief executive Shaun Robinson says.

“Around the world, the rise in depression and other mental health issues indicates the paradox of our times – wealth alone does not create happiness or wellbeing.” Mr Robinson says. “We need to find a balance of priorities that support the mental health of our people. These priorities must include a sense of connectedness within our communities, social justice and environments that sustain health. The wellbeing approach of Budget 2019 is heading in this direction.”

The recent Mental Health and Addiction Inquiry reported what we already know – our response to mental health in New Zealand has major gaps.

“Funding has fallen well behind demand, and we need to do things very differently,” Mr Robinson says. “Many people are suffering tragic consequences, especially young people and particularly young Māori. All Kiwis share the alarm at our suicide figures and the high rates of bullying and other issues affecting young people,” Mr Robinson adds.

“While we do not yet know what the Budget will deliver, and the devil will be in the detail, it is good to hear that the mental health of our young people will be a key focus,” Mr Robinson says.

The Mental Health Foundation look forward to an ongoing investment plan for mental health and suicide prevention that must cover multiple budgets.

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