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Mental health support for all Year 1-8 kids in Canterbury

Hon Dr David Clark

Minister of Health

Hon Megan Woods

Minister of Greater Christchurch Regeneration


29 April 2019 PĀNUI PĀPĀHO

MEDIA STATEMENT


Every child in Canterbury’s primary and intermediate schools now has access to mental health and wellbeing support through their local school thanks to the Government’s Mana Ake programme.

Minister of Health Dr David Clark and Minister of Greater Christchurch Regeneration Megan Woods say they are pleased to announce that as of today, all Year 1 to 8 children in the 219 primary and intermediate schools in Canterbury and Kaikoura have access to Mana Ake support.

“Mana Ake puts social and mental health workers into schools for one-on-one and group sessions with children to help them deal with anxiety, depression and other mental health issues,” says David Clark.

“Mana Ake rolled out to its first schools just over a year ago, on 23 April 2018. It’s a significant achievement to get this much support in place in such a short amount of time,”

“For a programme of this scale to roll out to every school within one year shows the commitment of all the agencies and people involved to support our young people.

“As of 31 March Mana Ake has supported over 820 children individually and 475 in groups since the programme first commenced in schools. That’s a lot of young lives that have benefited from being listened to and supported.


“I thank every person involved who has worked so hard on this initiative and kept the wellbeing and resilience of these children at the forefront of their mind throughout. I am proud of the support Mana Ake has provided already and will continue to provide,” says David Clark

Minister Megan Woods says Mana Ake was established in response to the unique mental health needs Canterbury children experienced following the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes.

“This Government recognises that mental health issues in Canterbury is one of the region’s most important challenges, especially amongst young people.

“Mana Ake was originally established to help children dealing with the legacy of events in Canterbury and Kaikoura, and has also proved its worth following the March 15 attacks. For parents to know their children will have access to professional mental health and wellbeing support at school after that incident is a real comfort.”

“Mana Ake is an important initiative which is helping children every day. The Government’s promise to improve youth mental health is being realised through initiatives like this.”


BACKGROUND:

Mana Ake focuses on early intervention to promote wellbeing and positive mental health. Kaimahi have a range of skills and can work directly with or individuals where mental health concerns have been identified, and their family/whānau, with groups of students, and may also be involved in running information sessions or groups for parents or providing advice to whānau and teachers.

The service aims to complement and enhance existing pastoral care support for children and to increase the capacity and responsiveness of wider health services by ensuring the right children access the right support at the right time.

Mana Ake kaimahi come from a range of backgrounds and have skills and experience in mental health including social work, teaching, mentoring, psychology and counselling.

Note: Some high schools also have intermediate school classes. Mana Ake is available in these schools. For a full list of schools in Mana Ake, please visit: http://ccn.health.nz/FocusAreas/ManaAke-StrongerforTomorrow.aspx.


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