Health and Disability Commissioner welcomes mental health and wellbeing report

Health and Disability Commissioner Morag McDowell has welcomed Mā Te Rongo Ake, the Initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission’s report on the Government’s progress towards transforming the mental health and wellbeing of Aotearoa New Zealand.

“I welcome the Initial Commission’s final report and acknowledge the commitment and investment from the Government to deliver on the recommendations of He Ara Oranga,” said Ms McDowell.

“There is however growing concern from a number of sector leaders about the lack of a sufficient action plan to implement He Ara Oranga. I welcome the Minister of Health’s commitment to remedying this by putting in place an overarching long-term plan.

“I congratulate the Initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission for highlighting progress to date and the challenges that need to be addressed. I trust that the Government will find the detail in Mâ Te Rongo Ake helpful as they plan the next stages of transformation.

“HDC looks forward to working with the new Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission as we continue to look at people’s complaints about mental health and addiction services and identify areas where services can improve,” she said. 

HDC handed monitoring and advocacy for mental health and addiction services to the new Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission in February.

At that time, former Mental Health Commissioner, Kevin Allan, commented on the critical challenges remaining in transforming New Zealand’s approach to mental wellbeing.

HDC continues to act as an independent watchdog for people’s rights when using health and disability services, resolving complaints, and holding providers to account for improving their practices at an individual and system-wide level.

People who want to make a complaint about the care they or others have experienced at a mental health and addiction service should still contact the HDC.