The upcoming Budget will include a $100-million investment over four years for a specialist mental health and addiction package, Health Minister, Andrew Little announced today.
The package will include:
- $27m for community-based crisis services to deliver a variety of intensive supports such as residential and home-based crisis respite, community crisis teams, co-response teams, and peer-led services in the community and as part of care teams.
- $18.7m to enhance existing specialist child and adolescent mental health and addiction services so that around 1,300 young people can be supported by more clinical, peer support and cultural support staff;
- $10m for workforce development to build the capability and capacity of the specialist services workforce.
“Labour is the first government to take mental health seriously. In three years we’ve made the biggest ever investment to build a solid foundation for a whole new mental health and addiction system,” Minister Little said.
“We commissioned the He Ara Oranga report, which showed the first step was making it easier to get help earlier and closer to home, so small issues don’t become big problems.
“That’s why we rolled out the Access and Choice programme and other initiatives to provide free mental health and addiction support at local doctors and schools, kaupapa Māori and Pacific settings, as well as universities, online, on the phone and through smart apps.”
He said m ore than 380,000 primary mental wellbeing sessions had been delivered and more than 900 additional FTEs were currently working to support mental wellbeing in the community.
“Now in Budget 2022 we’ll roll out the plan to improve services for people who have the highest needs. The mental wellbeing of kiwis is crucial for individuals as well as the economic security of New Zealand.”
“People with severe mental health and addiction issues and their families have been patient through inaction by previous governments. They know building reliable services takes time. Now, three years into the plan to build a whole new mental health system, New Zealand is finally getting closer to a system we can be proud of,” Mr Little said.