Response to Mental Health Inquiry

Mental Health Commissioner calls for action in response to Inquiry

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Mental Health Commissioner Kevin Allan today welcomed the findings of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction, saying the Government now has an opportunity to respond to their recommendations in a way that creates real and lasting change.

“I commend the Inquiry for the comprehensive work they have done. Having listened to New Zealanders they have made a strong set of recommendations and the challenge now will be for the Government to turn those ideas into action,” Kevin Allan said.

“As the Inquiry Panel acknowledged, many of their findings and recommendations are not new. We simply cannot keep doing more of the same if we want to create the well-being and recovery-oriented system New Zealand needs.

“It is important that any response to this Inquiry leads to significant improvements in mental wellbeing and that people with mental health and addiction needs have better access to support and services. That requires strong leadership, adequate funding, and the courage to do things differently.

“I welcome the call for more collaborative leadership. It is essential if we want to make lasting progress.  We must have the right people at the table from the outset to determine priorities and implement change including Māori and people with lived experience.”

Kevin Allan said he was pleased to see the recommendation for a broader mandate for a stand-alone Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission.

“It is critical that any new commission oversees the mental health and addiction system and supports the transformation which needs to occur.  To do that it needs to be well resourced and given appropriate powers and independence.”

Kevin Allan said the Office of the Health and Disability Commissioner would now take the opportunity to look at the Report in more detail including the proposed scope and functions of a new stand-alone commission, and recommendations relating to the Health and Disability Commissioner.

“This is a comprehensive report that will take some time to consider. I look forward to the Government’s response to the Report next year and to advising them on the Inquiry’s findings and recommendations.”