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Supporting people with mental health issues

Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman
Minister of Health

4 October 2015

Supporting people with mental health issues

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says mental health awareness week is a timely reminder of the support people can give each other and the health services available.

The theme of this year’s mental health awareness week (5-11 October) is ‘Give – Give your time, your words and your presence’.

“It’s important people get the mental health support and services they need. One in five New Zealanders are affected by a mental illness every year, with depression and anxiety the most common forms,” says Dr Coleman.

“Funding for mental health and addiction services has steadily increased from $1.1 billion in 2008/09 to over $1.4 billion in 2014/15.

“The Government is working to improve mental health services through Rising to the Challenge - The Mental Health and Addiction Service Development Plan.

“It’s a collective effort by the Ministry of Health and other Government agencies, DHBs, NGOs and primary care to enhance service integration and expand access to services.

“A number of mental health initiatives are underway, including the recent $500,000 funding boost for initiatives targeted at rural communities.

“$64 million has been invested over four years to support young people through the Prime Minister's Youth Mental Health Project. The 26 initiatives bring social sector services together across the health sector, schools, and communities.

“We are also addressing the impact of suicide by strengthening support for families and communities, and extending existing services through the New Zealand Suicide Prevention Action Plan.”

DHBs now have plans in place, in partnership with their local communities, to prevent and respond to suicide at a local level.

The Ministry of Health funds a range of mental health services through DHBs, NGOs and primary care - covering health promotion and education, primary care, and specialist mental health and addition services.

For more information on this year’s theme ‘Give’, one of the five ways to wellbeing, and what people can do to support others, visit the Mental Health Foundation’s awareness week website:


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