Thursday, April 25, 2024

Govt moves to improve mental health pathways

The Government has today announced measures aimed at boosting the nation’s mental health workforce, including an increase in the number of funded clinical psychology internships and the payments they receive while on placement.

“By 2024 we will have increased the number of interns to 40 every year, along with funding for the internship to nearly $60,000 a year,” said Health Minister, Andrew Little.

“Since coming to Government in 2017, we’ve more than trebled the number of funded clinical psychology internships available across the health sector.”

The Minister said the number of internships would increase in 2023 to 38 and to 40 for each year after that.

“We’ve already increased the payment interns receive by 40% to nearly $60,000 each,” said Mr Little.

“This is part of the Government’s wider work to support and upskill our existing mental health workforce, as well as grow the pipeline of people coming to work in mental health and addiction roles.

“This is a significant contribution and one we know will encourage more people to consider studying towards a career in clinical psychology,” he said.

Enhancements to the psychology intern programme, including the trial hubs where interns now have the opportunity to work across multiple services with multiple clinical supervisors, including regional, ICAMHS and adult mental health services, are just one part of a wider workforce development programme, the Minister said.

“The Government is also funding free access to a range of talking therapy training programmes for people working in Mental Health and addiction. These include courses in cognitive behavioural therapy for children and young people, youth addiction, and Kaupapa Māori models of talking therapy,” he said.

“Work is also under way to deliver more support and training for those providing mental health and wellbeing supports to refugees, migrants and Asian communities.”

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