Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Bright future for mental health programme

New Zealand’s internationally acclaimed Like Minds, Like Mine programme enters a new phase today with a new name and focus.

Health Minister, Andrew Little said the new ‘Nōku te Ao: Like Minds’ programme built on more than two decades of work to shine a light on stigma, prejudice and discrimination against those who experience mental health and wellbeing issues.

“The programme focuses on the people who are most affected by mental distress and discrimination, including Māori and Pacific communities, who are most at-risk of developing mental health and wellbeing issues,” Mr Little said.

“Prejudice and discrimination affects peoples’ wellbeing, and simultaneously prevents them from seeking the support they need.

“This programme will change attitudes towards people experiencing mental distress, reduce discrimination, and improve social inclusion experiences for priority groups.”

He said $8million dollars will be invested over five years in a range of initiatives to generate a social movement against prejudice, including education campaigns, social action grants and strengthened research and evaluation.

“The Government’s report into mental health and addiction, He Ara Oranga, made it clear we need to take a human rights-based approach to mental health and focus on equity.”

“We have laid the foundations for transformation to ensure people get the right help, when and where they need it, and are progressing the rollout of new and expanded services which are helping tens of thousands of people every month.”

The Like Minds, Like Mine programme, established in 1997, was a world first and has been instrumental in bringing mental health into everyday conversation over its 25-years.

“Nōku te Ao adds another tool to the toolkit. It aligns not only with the Labour government’s commitment to lay the foundations for a better future, but also the changes that will be made as part of this government’s Health & Disability System Reforms,” Minister Little said.

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