HEALTH

Dunne launches five-year mental health and addiction plan

Friday 14 December 2012, 1:20PM
By Peter Dunne
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Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne said today signalled the launch of Rising to the Challenge, a new national five-year plan for mental health and addiction.

“There has been considerable change in mental health, and in the last 20 years mental health funding has risen more than four-fold to $1.2 billion in the 2010/11 year,” Mr Dunne said.

“And among this, services have grown significantly particularly in community care where three quarters of mental health funding is now invested.

Rising to the Challenge is really a foundation document that sets out both the challenges facing mental health services and the priorities for action until 2017.

Key themes underpinning the plan include:

  • doing better within existing funding and working more cohesively across the government and non-government sectors so services from many agencies are better centred around those using the services and staff time in service delivery is maximised.
  • more people are treated closer to home in primary care with support from specialist hospital and community based services and easier movement between different services as people's needs change. Fewer delays in accessing services and better coordination between them will improve the experience of people using services and aid their recovery.
  • a greater emphasis on youth mental health and intervening earlier to prevent more serious problems later in life. Additional funding has already been allocated to the improving youth mental health - $61.9m over four years – and for forensic services – $33m over four years.
  • improving services and outcomes for people with high needs, for Maori and for other population groups who generally experience poorer outcomes (eg, Pacific peoples, refugees and people with disabilities).
  • service providers working alongside and in partnership with individuals using the services and their families and whānau.

 

“The plan is aimed high and deliberately so,” Mr Dunne said.

“Its goal is to treat greater numbers of people, and to make services more effective in order to better support people’s recovery.

“Over time, we expect individuals to be able to access services to manage their own condition or get timely access to services provided by a responsive and capable workforce, increasingly located in primary care,” he said.

Mr Dunne said that as individuals’ mental health needs change, they will be able to move between services without lengthy delays. Services will be better coordinated and smoothly integrated.

The report can be found at
www.health.govt.nz/publication/rising-challenge-mental-health-and-addiction-service-development-plan-2012-2017