Thursday, August 11, 2022

29th Māori mental health service opens

Associate Minister of Health, Peeni Henare, has officially opened a new mental health and addiction service in Porirua – one of 29 new or recently established services now set up across the country.

Minister Henare joined with provider Ora Toa today to mark the opening of its new service Ngā Kete Aronui.

“Over the past few weeks, I have visited 13 of these new services across Te Ika-a-Māui. From Waitematā to Wellington, Tairāwhiti to Tāneatua, it is a heartening experience seeing tailored, culturally competent wellbeing services being delivered by Māori, for Māori and making a real difference in their communities,” Minister Henare said.

“From early 2020 until May this year, these growing Kaupapa Māori primary mental health and addiction services have delivered more than 20,000 sessions for those with mild to moderate mental health and addiction issues.

“Caring for tāngata whaiora on this scale would not have been possible had it not been for this Government’s record investment in mental health.”

The first of the 29 kaupapa Māori primary mental health and addiction services was opened in 2020, with the others following progressively since then.

The five-year Access and Choice programme is being funded through the Government’s 2019 Wellbeing Budget, with funding increasing each year to allow for a phased approach to service implementation.

“Providing services for tāngata whaiora and whānau that are underpinned by Mātauranga Māori ensures a culturally safe and inclusive environment in which Māori are much more likely to have a positive experience accessing support.”

“Across the motu, I’ve spoken with people who have never interacted with the mental health and addiction system before but now have the support and tools they need to face some tough challenges,” said Mr Henare.

“It’s okay not to be ok, the key is reaching out for help when you need it. I know in a Kaupapa Māori context that is going to be easier now these services are in place and continue to roll out in new areas.”

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