Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Mental health package an exemplar on use of expert advice

OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER’S SCIENCE ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, KNZM FRSNZ FMedSci FRS
Chief Science Advisor


Media Release

04 April 2012

Prime Minister’s youth mental health package is an exemplar of how to use expert advice in policy formation

The announcement today of a very significant package of initiatives aimed to improve the quality, and the effectiveness of the delivery, of mental health services to young people throughout New Zealand is both important in its own right and also a demonstration of how evidence and expert advice can be used effectively to improve policy formation.

The 18 initiatives announced, encompassing school-based measures, family-based programmes, interventions delivered through the internet and social media, and improvements to youth mental health services, form an integrated package which has been designed in the expectation that a holistic approach can make a real difference to improving the resilience of young people as they passage through adolescence and reduce the morbidities that can blight some young people for the rest of their lives.

Adolescence and its associated psychological and social morbidities is an area where policy has to be developed against a background of incomplete knowledge and considerable uncertainty. Formation and evaluation of new policy is made much more difficult by the complexity of the world in which young people grow up. Thus it is important to acknowledge at the outset that these initiatives will be subject to a review after two years to identify which programmes are making the biggest impact. Ongoing evaluation and review is critical in areas such as this to determine what will be most effective in the various contexts in which young people find themselves. The government must be congratulated for taking such an open approach that explicitly acknowledges the importance of evaluating programmes in a New Zealand setting.

The origin of these initiatives is an exemplar of how policy formation in complex areas can be based on informed scientific advice. In 2009, the Prime Minister asked me to consider the problems associated with the transition through adolescence. Rather than undertake a superficial review, I embarked on a 18-month project that eventually involved more than 30 New Zealand experts and several international contributors. Intentionally we produced a report, entitled Improving the transition, that stayed focused on the scientifically robust evidence and avoided opinion and anecdote. Among its findings were significant concerns about the provision of mental health services to many young people. Following this report, the Prime Minister initiated an officials group to consider what could be done, taking into account the advice from our report, and their work was subject to iterative review by an expert group chaired by myself. It is primarily from that process that the initiatives announced today emerged.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Auckland Transport Case: Men Guilty Of Corruption And Bribery Will Spend Time In Jail

Two men who were found guilty of corruption and bribery in a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) trial have been sentenced in the Auckland High Court today... The pair are guilty of corruption and bribery offences relating to more than $1 million of bribes which took place between 2005 and 2013 at Rodney District Council and Auckland Transport. More>>

ALSO:

Hager Raid: Westpac Wrong To Release Bank Records To Police

The Privacy Commissioner has censured Westpac Banking Corp for releasing without a court order more than 10 months of bank records belonging to the political activist and journalist Nicky Hager during a police investigation into leaked information published in Hager's 2014 pre-election book, 'Dirty Politics'. More>>

ALSO:

EARLIER:

Crown Accounts: Government Ekes Out Six-Month Surplus Of $9M

The New Zealand government eked out a tiny surplus in the first six months of the fiscal year as growth in domestic consumption lifted the goods and services tax take, while uncertainties over the Kaikoura earthquake costs meant expenses were less than expected. More>>

ALSO:

Almost 400 Jobs: Shock At Cadbury's Dunedin Factory Closure

Workers at Cadbury in Dunedin are reeling after learning this morning that the iconic Cadbury factory is to close, with the loss of almost 400 jobs... “The company had reported it was doing well and this has come out of the blue,” says Chas. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news