Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Mental health report recommends re-think on drug charges

Chris Bramwell, Deputy Political Editor

The Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction is recommending the government set up a Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission, take strong action on alcohol and other drugs and set a target to reduce suicide rates.

Health Minister
David Clark. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Health Minister David Clark. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

The panel, led by the former health watchdog Ron Paterson, spent roughly 10 months consulting people around the country, holding more than 400 meetings and considering about 5000 submissions.

It delivered a 200-page report and 40 recommendations to Health Minister David Clark who has released it today.

The recommendations include taking strong action on drugs by enacting a stricter regulatory approach to the sale and supply of alcohol and replacing criminal sanctions for the possession for personal use of controlled drugs, with civil responses.

It also calls for the government to urgently complete and implement a national suicide prevention strategy, with a target of a 20 percent reduction in suicide rates by 2030.

The inquiry's report says the Mental Health Act is out of date and inconsistent with New Zealand's international treaty obligations, saying it should be repealed and replaced with law that reflects a human rights approach and minimises compulsory or coercive treatment.

It also suggests the establishment of new Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission to act as a watchdog and provide leadership and oversight of mental health and wellbeing in New Zealand.

It says there has been a general lack of confidence in leadership of the mental health and addiction sector over many years, since disestablishment of the original Mental Health Commission, and new Commission is needed to provide system leadership and act as the institutional mechanism to hold decisionmakers and successive governments to account.

Dr Clark said the government would consider the recommendations carefully.

"The Inquiry panel has delivered a set of strong and coherent recommendations covering everything from the social determinants of health and wellbeing, to expanding access to treatment services and taking strong action on alcohol and drugs.

"We are working our way through the 40 recommendations and will formally respond in March.

"I want to be upfront with the public, however, that many of the issues we're facing, such as workforce shortages, will take years to fix."


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Binoy Kampmark: Biden’s Victory: A Eunuch Presidency Beckons

Whatever was set to happen on November 3, President Donald J. Trump would not lose. Falling in that establishment firebreak against democracy known as the Electoral College would not erase, let alone repudiate him. His now victorious opponent, far ... More>>

Reese Ehrlich: Foreign Correspondent: The Challenge For Joe Biden

If he’s smart, the likely President-elect will stop the unpopular endless wars and use the money to help our domestic economy. By Reese Erlich I’m pissed. I’m pissed at Donald Trump for trying to shut down the vote count early and at Republicans More>>

Boris Johnson At Sea: Coronavirus Confusion In The UK

The tide has been turning against UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Oafishly, he has managed to convert that tide into a deluge of dissatisfaction assisted by the gravitational pull of singular incompetence. Much of this is due to such errors of ... More>>

The Conversation: Biodiversity: Where The World Is Making Progress – And Where It’s Not

The future of biodiversity hangs in the balance. World leaders are gathering to review international targets and make new pledges for action to stem wildlife declines. Depending on whether you are a glass half-full or half-empty person, you’re likely ... More>>

The Conversation: The Numbers Suggest The Campaign For Cannabis Reform In NZ Will Outlive The Generations That Voted Against It

Like Brexit in the UK, cannabis reform in New Zealand fell into an age gap — given time, a second referendum would probably succeed. More>>

Gordon Campbell: 22 Short Takes On The US Election

Finally, the long night of Donald Trump’s presidency is over. To date, the courts have been given no cause to conclude that the exhaustively lengthy counts of those mountains of mail ballots was anything other than legal. Stacking the US Supreme ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On How The US Supreme Court Is Undermining American Democracy

If Joe Biden is elected President next week, here comes the bad news. If Biden tries to defend Obamacare, combat climate change (via say, a variant of the Green New Deal) or tries to improve the access of US women to abortion services , he will run afoul ... More>>

The Coronavirus Republic: Three Million Infections And Rising

The United States is famed for doing things, not to scale, but off it. Size is the be-all and end-all, and the coronavirus is now doing its bit to assure that the country remains unrivalled in the charts of infection . In time, other unfortunates may well ... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog