New Zealand 17 Initiatives for mental health


Fraser Clarke

New Zealand’s Health Minister, Jonathan Coleman, has outlined how he plans to deal with the country’s youth mental health crisis. With plans in place to invest NZ$100m in 17 new initiatives focused on early intervention.

The proposals, which were passed in parliament on Monday (14/8) afternoon, with Coleman stating his aims for the new deal in a speech to the house. He said: "The evidence shows that we need to transform our mental health services, to build resilience in children and young people to help them better deal with mental health issues, and to learn how to overcome known risk factors like trauma."

Under the new plans a range of services will be made available to those in need, and these include:

    • $5m to provide ongoing support to those who have attempted to take their own life
    • $8m for a multi-agency response service, to work with anyone calling the emergency services as a result of a mental health issue
    • $25m to expand primary and community mental health services, and build on existing programmes that appear to be working
    • $5m invested in accommodation support for young people diagnosed with, or considered at a risk of developing serious mental health conditions.
    • $8m to further support those with acute mental health needs

New Zealand has the highest adolescent suicide rate in the developed world, and that is something that the Government is desperate to work on.

Amy Adams, New Zealand’s Social Investment Minister echoed Coleman’s feelings on the matter. She said: "It's one of our most challenging social issues and it affects a large number of New Zealanders with complex needs. We want to help individuals and their families through the challenges they are facing, so that they can lead healthier and more independent lives, and we will need to bring together a range of services and targeted new approaches to do so.
"With this in mind, we have brought together Ministers, their agencies and experts to deliver a truly cross-Governmental approach to mental health".

If you’re a psychiatrist looking for a new role overseas then New Zealand could be ideal. The country faces a long and difficult battle with mental illness, however it is one that the Government looks intent on winning.

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