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Making Time For Mental Health

9 October 2008

Making Time For Mental Health

The Mental Health Commission is urging people to make time this week for activities that help sustain their mental health.

Mental Health Awareness Week runs until Sunday 12 October.

Chair Commissioner Peter McGeorge says the annual event is a useful reminder of the importance of good mental health.

“Many of us struggle to enjoy good mental health at various times in our lives so anything we can do as individuals and communities to build resilience, hope and humour has got to be worthwhile,” he says.

One in five adult New Zealanders experience mental illness or addiction, with about three percent of people experiencing severe difficulties. Mental health and addiction problems are more common among some groups such as youth and Maori.

Dr McGeorge says the Commission is helping turn those statistics around by monitoring implementation of the Government’s mental health strategy, developing a shared vision of how mental health and addiction services can improve, facilitating collaboration between agencies, and promoting research findings and insights that will accelerate those improvements.

“We want to reach a point where people experiencing mental illness or addiction are offered the help they need, in its many forms, and are viewed as valued members of their communities, participating as much as they wish and are able to,” he says.

“As the theme for Mental Health Awareness Week states, mental health is in our hands. We can all do our bit by making activities that are good for our mental health a normal part of our week, and by celebrating the diversity of life experiences around us.”

ENDS


Background about the Mental Health Commission:

The Mental Health Commission was established in 1998 as a crown entity providing independent advice to the Government following the Mason Inquiry into Mental Health Services.

The Commission’s functions as defined by the Mental Health Commission Amendment Act 2007 are to:

- advocate for the interests of people with mental illness and their families generally (rather than for individuals or groups), while taking into account the interests of other stakeholders;

- promote and facilitate collaboration and communication about mental health issues;

- work independently and with others to promote better understanding of mental illness by the community, reduce the stigma and prejudice associated with mental illness, and to eliminate inappropriate discrimination on the grounds of mental illness;

- monitor, and to report to and advise the Minister on the implementation of the national mental health strategy;

- stimulate and support the development of integrated and effective methods or systems of providing care;

- stimulate and to do research into any matter relevant to mental illness.

ENDS

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