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ProCare Fresh Minds Calls For Additional Mental Health Funding Beyond Youth

ProCare Fresh Minds, New Zealand’s largest provider of primary mental health and wellbeing services, has responded to today’s budget announcement and supports the $24 million allocated to Gumboot Friday for its free youth mental health counselling services.

Bindi Norwell, Chair at Fresh Minds says: “Gumboot Friday is a great initiative, and we are always pleased to see funding allocated to bettering the mental health and wellbeing of our rangatahi.

“In addition to this, we are calling for additional funding to be given to mental health and wellbeing needs of youth and extending into young adults and beyond and ensuring that we have qualified clinicians to support mental health and wellbeing needs,” states Norwell.

Dr Tania Wilson, General Manager at ProCare Fresh Minds says: “We know that the last few years have been particularly stressful for a lot of people across the motu. Mental health support across the spectrum of needs is essential for an increasing number of people in our communities.

“We are pleased to see options and access improving for our young people, but we need to make sure that we improve access for all of our at-risk communities.

“We are also a little surprised to not see any financial commitment toward improving workforce pathways in mental health, as we know that a shortage of psychologists/clinicians is a leading cause for increased wait times for initial consults for those being referred through, or looking for mental health support,” continues Wilson.

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“This has been an ongoing concern for many of us in the industry over the past few years, and while we are taking steps by providing internships, we know that this is not enough to fill the gap,” concludes Wilson.

Bindi Norwell, Chair at Fresh Minds says: “Additionally, we welcome the funding indicated for the Mental Health and Addiction Community Sector Innovation Fund, but the devil is in the detail, and we look forward to finding out more about how mental health and addiction providers can apply for this fund. We also want to understand more about the longevity of this fund, as we note that it has currently only been allocated for two years, and to truly make an ongoing difference, there needs to be long-term commitments.”

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