Long-term pathway next step to better mental wellbeing for New Zealanders

  • Hon Andrew Little

The Government is taking a new approach to support people who experience mental distress, Health Minister Andrew Little says.

“Kia Manawanui Aotearoa – Long-term pathway to mental wellbeing (Kia Manawanui) is the first 10-year plan of its kind that targets the cause of mental distress and also sets out how to achieve pae ora – healthy futures.

“Our mental health system was neglected for nine years under the previous government and we have taken on the massive task to fix it,” Andrew Little said.

“The mental wellbeing of New Zealanders will be better supported through this programme as it requires government agencies to work together to promote and protect mental wellbeing.

“We have heard loud and clear the need to place greater focus on promotion and prevention, as well as providing specialist support for those with complex needs. This is part of the Government’s commitment to laying the foundations for a healthy future for all New Zealanders. Mental wellbeing and equitable care should be attainable for everyone,” Andrew Little said

“Kia Manawanui sets out short, medium and long term actions to be taken across Government with a focus on key areas such as technology, workforce, and investment to make transformative change.

“To further ensure Government’s wider mental health programme continues to progress as it should I have also established an external oversight group chaired by Professor Judy McGregor that encompasses clinical, lived experience and governance expertise,” Andrew Little said.

“We cannot achieve healthy futures if the health sector works in isolation. Kia Manawanui calls for all of us to work together, taking action, from across Government to our communities through to individuals, so people who experience mental illness and distress can be better supported to have the resilience, tools and support they need to regain their wellbeing.”

Kia Manawanui is part of the Government’s response to He Ara Oranga: the report into Mental Health and Addiction services in New Zealand. He Ara Oranga and the cross-government investment approach from Budget 2019, is what forms the basis of Kia Manawanui.

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