Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Ten-year Mental Health Plan Could Prove A Long Wait

The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists Toi Mata Hauora is greeting a new plan to improve mental health with cautious optimism but warns ten years could prove a very long wait.

The Government has announced a ten-year strategy – Kia Manawanui – to set goals on mental health and support the delivery of mental health services.

ASMS Executive Director Sarah Dalton says the explosion in demand for specialist mental health services has deepened a crisis which requires urgent action.

A recent ASMS report What Price Mental Health? pointed out that the number of inpatient mental health beds per population has fallen by nearly 10% in the past five years. DHBs frequently exceed 100% occupancy for mental health inpatient beds, when 85% occupancy is considered clinically safe.

“One psychiatrist recently told me he dreaded being on call in the weekends because there is nowhere safe to put the numbers of seriously ill patients. It’s a bleak situation and so many frontline staff report they are at breaking point,” Sarah Dalton says.

New Zealand also has very low numbers of practising psychiatrists per capita. Most DHBs are carrying major psychiatry staffing vacancies and overseas-trained psychiatrists are relied on to fill the gaps.

Part of the Government’s plan will put a welcome focus on workforce development.

“We would expect to have input into that and would like to see a workforce census established so we know exactly where the staffing gaps are,” Sarah Dalton says.

“The fact psychiatry is the second bottom choice for New Zealand medical school graduates is telling. We need to make it a more appealing pathway by showing value for our mental health workers and improving their working conditions”.

No mention is made in the Government’s strategy of more investment in mental health facilities which Sarah Dalton says describes as disappointing given so many of our mental health wards and buildings are old, cramped and no longer fit-for-purpose.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Juggling Covid, And France’s Trump-like Populist


It is the age-old Covid problem. How to balance the needs for firms (and schools) to re-open against the need to protect public health. In the past, the balance has been struck by insisting that the best public health outcomes also deliver the best economic (and educational) outcomes. While that may still be objectively true, it is no longer a politically tenable position... More>>

RNZ: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces Cabinet decision on Covid-19 alert levels


Northland will move to level 2 at 11.59pm on 19 October. Waikato will be held at level 3, to be reviewed on Friday. Auckland will remain in level 3 with current restrictions for another two weeks... More>>

ALSO:




 
 


Government: Red Tape Cut To Boost Housing Supply
First home buyers are set to benefit from changes to planning rules being advanced by the Government and the National Party that will enable more medium density housing and cut red tape that acts as a barrier to development... More>>

ALSO:

Economy: Inflation highest in over a decade
The consumers price index rose 2.2 percent in the September 2021 quarter, the biggest quarterly movement since a 2.3 percent rise in the December 2010 quarter, Stats NZ said today. Excluding quarters impacted by increases to GST rates, the September quarter movement was the highest since the June 1987 quarter... More>>

ALSO:


Government: New Zealand Increases Climate Aid Contribution

The Government is making a four-fold increase in the support it provides to countries most vulnerable to the climate emergency, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Climate Change Minister James Shaw announced today... More>>



Pay Cheque To Pay Cheque: Half A Million New Zealanders Have No Savings
New findings from the Consumer NZ sentiment tracker found that 15% of New Zealanders had no savings, and a further 27% were anxious about their level of savings and would like to have more tucked away... More>>


Government: Mandatory Vaccination For Two Workforces

Large parts of two workforces critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19 will be required to be vaccinated, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Our education and health and disability workforces have done an incredible job throughout this pandemic to keep themselves and people safe,” Chris Hipkins said.... More>>


Green Party: Deeply Concerned Space Launches May Be Breaching Nuclear-free Laws

The Green Party is deeply concerned that space launches by Rocket Lab may be breaching nuclear-free laws, given our long-standing position as a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty... More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels