Christchurch, September 29, 2020
A National Government will deliver high quality mental health care that is accessible, timely and effective, regardless of the origin of people, National Party Mental Health spokesperson Matt Doocey and Health spokesperson Dr Shane Reti have said.
Following is a Statement issued by them in Christchurch:
Mental health is just as important as physical health. One in five Kiwis experience a mental health disorder at some point in their lives, and nearly nine per cent of adults experience psychological distress every month.
The impact of Covid-19 has exacerbated this with more New Zealanders struggling with unemployment and an economic recession.
Labour promised big on mental health but have failed to deliver, only being able to spend seven per cent of the funding they announced for mental health and only equipping four per cent of General Practitioners with new frontline services.
National will (a) Establish New Zealand’s first Minister for Mental Health to drive our mental health strategy (b) Strengthen our frontline with a primary care navigator in every General Practice (c) Implement a ‘national stepped care approach’ for commissioning and delivering services to provide a joined up and integrated network of mental health services (d) Establish a $10 million mental health support package for small and medium businesses where mental health has been identified as a concern (e) Fund life-saving mental wellbeing and suicide prevention workshops in our rural communities (f) Commit to a nationwide ‘Zero Suicides’ comprehensive multi-sector suicide prevention strategy (g) Invest in a $10 million contestable fund to establish free psychological first aid training (h)
Require schools to deliver a skills based mental health and resilience training program from years 1 to 13 (i) Fund a new, fit for purpose baseline study of children and young people to understand the context and conditions underpinning the mental health of New Zealand’s youth.
These are just some of the changes National will deliver that will improve our mental health outcomes for generations to come.
National will also provide short term relief in light of Covid-19, by urgently funding 100,000 free counselling sessions.
New Zealanders deserve world class mental health care.
This is in line with National’s core health focus of delivering frontline services sooner so New Zealanders can access high quality services no matter where they live or who they are.