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Mental health workforce development plan

19 December 2005

Mental health workforce development plan

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A three-year plan to develop and strengthen the New Zealand mental health workforce was launched in Wellington today by Health Minister Pete Hodgson.

Tauawhitia te Wero, Embracing the Challenge: National Mental Health Addiction Workforce Development Plan 2006-2009 lays out a strategy for the training, recruitment and retention of people working in the mental health and addiction sector.

Pete Hodgson said supporting the workforce was crucial to the government's ongoing efforts to enhance New Zealand's mental heath services.

"Around 1 in 5 New Zealanders will at some point in their lives experience mental illness," Pete Hodgson said. "The government is committed to providing access to world-class mental health services and we know that can't be accomplished without supporting the 8,000 people who work in the sector.

"The workforce includes people who work in a range of occupational roles and disciplines, such as support workers, nurses, psychiatrists, addiction practitioners, and counsellors.

"The 4-year Workforce Development Plan includes more emphasis on recruitment of workers and their retention in the sector, as well as leadership and organisational development. It also has a particular focus on retaining and developing the sector's Maori, Pacific and Asian workforce.

"We are striving for a diverse mental health and addiction sector which is representative of the service users and is responsive to their needs."

ENDS


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