web analytics

Labour’s mental health policy

Written By: - Date published: 11:03 am, May 12th, 2017 - 13 comments
Categories: health, labour - Tags: , , ,

Labour has outlined a mental health policy:

Under Labour’s fresh approach to mental health services, we will establish a two-year pilot programme of primary mental health teams at eight sites across the country to work with GPs, PHOs, DHBs, and mental health NGOs. These sites will be selected to meet high needs populations, including Christchurch, which has seen a surge in mental health needs. The programme is expected to help nearly 40,000 people get the assistance they need for each year of the pilot. This will be an investment of $43m over two years, funded through Labour’s commitment to reversing National’s $1.7b of health cuts.

Mental health teams will be based on site with primary care providers, such as GPs, to offer free, accessible help for people with mental health issues before and after crises. Early intervention and continuing care will help people avoid significant mental health distress and assist them to live their lives fully.

Each mental health team will comprise mental health service co-ordinators, who will be doctors or other medical professionals. It will be their job to help people navigate the system and integrate the care from GPs, PHOs, NGOs, and DHBs, creating a sustained programme of care for each individual. This will mean patients will deal with the same health professionals throughout.

The programme will provide funding for:

  • Increased capacity for GPs to conduct interventions and make appropriate referrals
  • Mental health service co-ordinators to be based with primary care providers
  • NGOs to provide social assistance such as help getting a job or finding somewhere to live
  • Increased access to counselling
  • Coordinators to facilitate shared care between GPs and DHBs

A full review of the pilot will be taken after two years with a view to rolling out the programme nationwide over time.

Good stuff! Compare and contrast with National’s systematic under-funding of mental health, and their arrogant response to the issue:

Jonathan Coleman’s attack on ‘anti-government’ ActionStation is a smokescreen. And it’s nonsense

The minister of health has dismissed a report on mental health claiming the authors are ‘left-wing anti-government protesters’. ActionStation’s Marianne Elliott responds.

You know the saying: ‘Don’t shoot the messenger’?

Well, the message is that New Zealanders are deeply concerned about the state of our mental health system, and heartbroken about the family and friends we lose to suicide every year. We’re just the messengers.

The “we” in that sentence is the ActionStation community of everyday New Zealanders, hundreds of whom shared their stories with the People’s Mental Health Review, and 12,800 more who added their names to an open letter asking the government to consider the findings of that review.

So when the minister of health, Dr Jonathan Coleman, dismissed the recommendations of the People’s Mental Health Report on Tuesday because “the people behind the report” were “left-wing anti-government protesters”, that is who he was dismissing.

Attacking the messenger is a classic diversionary tactic when you don’t want to face up to the message itself. But in this case the issue is too important for mud slinging. People are dying. If deaths by suicides continue at the rate they were reported last year, four people will have died by suicide since Coleman responded to our open letter with an attack on the people behind it on Tuesday. …

Read on for plenty more. And vote these heartless Nats out in September!


Coverage of the Labour announcement:

Labour wants mental health teams within GP practices, free appointments for mental health issues
Labour would spend $43m on mental health teams
Mental health consults at the GP free under Labour, Andrew Little announces
Labour promises new mental health programme to create ‘front door’ to services

13 comments on “Labour’s mental health policy ”

  1. Michael 1

    I note that the “increase” is restricted to a pilot-study, albeit in eight sites across the country (better than the two sites that I believe I ead in an earlier announcement), thus implying that it is not a long-term measure and will cease on the study’s conclusion. Notwithstanding that any improvement in the provision of mental health treatment is welcome, I wonder whether leaving the statutory gatekeeping measures in place will really lead to better outcomes for people with mental health problems? At present, treatment providers are able to resort to the “serious danger” critreria in the legislation, answer in the negative, and decline to provide treatment. As we know, there are sometimes tragic results when treatment is denied to people who really need it but have been assessed otherwise. There seems to be no appeal mechanism either. Another unaddressed matter is that the causes of mental disorders are multifactorial. For example, the very first anecdote in the People’s Mental Health Review concerned a person whose mental disorder was aggravated by WINZ – a common circumstance. I see nothing from Labour that this factor, or others, will even be acknowledged, let alone remedied. Overall, I give Labour a C minus grade for this policy, which is a significant improvement from some of its earlier policies.

    • Sacha 1.1

      It won’t be the only thing they do to improve mental health services, just trying a different new approach in one part of the system. Not sure how well this will be communicated, of course.

      Increasing DHB budgets and creating a new Mental Health Commission seem likely under a Labour/Green govt. Less so under a Lab/NZF one I guess. But a Nat/poodle govt cannot admit they’ve dangerously underfunded health for years compared with soaring need from demographic changes and population rises – so I can’t see much geniune improvement under their stweardship.

    • Nope 1.2

      I don’t think you know what a pilot is.

  2. anderrawshark 2

    Michael, it is good that at this stage it is a pilot study. They need to find out how the service goes, measure the outcomes and tweak it (hopefully the tweaks won’t be major). I think this service will overcome the “serious danger “issue” because the services resort to that because they are chronically understaffed/underfunded.

    The evidence is very clear, early intervention, targeted evidence based treatment ensuring the best outcomes.

    If it wasn’t so outrageous, I would have laughed when Jonathan Coleman announced improvements to the 24 crisis line terming it “early intervention”. To anyone who has worked in the area, Dr Coleman displayed his complete ignorance of the area when she said this……………………………

  3. Cinny 3

    THANK YOU SO MUCH LABOUR, THANK YOU.

    This start to mend and improve mental health services for kiwis will save lives.

    So many people delay going to the Dr until it is too late purely due to the cost of a visit. Too late for those with mental health difficulties results in suicide. It’s as cut and dry as that.

    I told someone today about this policy and they burst into tears. That’s how important changes like this are. One has to have been touched by the lack of mental health support in NZ to truly appreciate how valuable this policy is.

    THANK YOU.

  4. Psych nurse 4

    This initiative does not go far enough, this helps the worried well, the big issues concern acute inpatient care. Actually what is needed is a massive increase in social housing. Acute units are clogged by now well patients who have no where to go, homeless people have realized that you can get a bed by fronting crisis teams saying the magic word Suicide and gaining admission, this is why the units at the DHB I work at, run at 125% occupancy. Overcrowding does not help people recover, does not let staff do their jobs well.
    We do not need extra beds but somewhere for people to live in the wider community.

    • Cinny 4.1

      Woahs, appreciate your the insight, I never knew how bad things were getting in that sector as a result of the housing crisis. So many suffering out there, homeless people having to leverage mental health just to have somewhere to sleep. Stretched DHB’s, overcrowding, leading to those in desperate need of mental health support suffering even more. Not a healthy work environment for the good people in that sector either.

      It’s incredible the flow on affects from the housing crisis, it’s just awful.

      • Psych nurse 4.1.1

        No it is not a healthy work environment, my role is to ensure the next shift is staffed, sometimes the A shift [night] has only one or two nurses doing a double shift, that is 16 hrs , sometimes that may be twelve doubles, that means nurses awake for 24 hrs followed by a drive home, not safe for them or others on the road ,not safe for patients, mistakes with medication become more frequent, decision making impaired but without overtime, units would be unstaffed, nurses don’t care about the money but fill the vacancies because of a duty of care. My DHB has an active recruitment policy but no takers nationally or internationally.There is a world wide shortage of Mental Health Nurses. For the idiot Coleman to constantly spout rubbish about X number of nurses having been employed since national came to power, a figure that doesn’t take population growth or an ageing population into account makes my blood boil.
        Nurses are being constantly assaulted we always have staff on long term sick leave which costs them income, you would think that work place injuries would guarantee income but no, you loose the first week of ACC from your sick leave and then only 80% of your salary.
        So no it’s not a healthy environment.

        • mickysavage 4.1.1.1

          Cheers PN and thanks for the comments. Much aroha …

        • ankerawshark 4.1.1.2

          Gosh this is so much worse than when I worked in the services…………………

          I realize the problem with demand on inpatient beds and housing. But it doesn’t need to be either or.

          There is some evidence if people with psychosis have good f/u in the community, they are less likely to need inpatient care.

    • gsays 4.2

      Cheers from me too.
      It occurs to me, any substantial change, for a sector so underfunded for so long, will take time.

      • Michael 4.2.1

        So we shouldn’t expect anything from Labour in the way of fewer people killing themselves then? Your comment reminds me of the stock response to people complaining that the last Labour government wasn’t interested in their problems: “We can’t do anything to help you now, but keep voting for us and look out for our long-term policies”. There’s only so much of this any electorate will put up with; by my calculations, the people of NZ reached the point of no return with Labour in 2005.

        • gsays 4.2.1.1

          Hi Michael,
          What I was eluding to was putting too much stock on a 2year trial.
          There has been a prolonged, systemic erosion of mental health investment.
          This will take an effort to change.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Relationship with Malaysia to be elevated to Strategic Partnership
    The relationship between Aotearoa New Zealand and Malaysia is to be elevated to the status of a Strategic Partnership, to open up opportunities for greater co-operation and connections in areas like regional security and economic development. Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta met her Malaysian counterpart Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah today during a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • Call for New Zealanders to get on-board with rail safety
    With additional trains operating across the network, powered by the Government’s investment in rail, there is need for a renewed focus on rail safety, Transport Minister Michael Wood emphasised at the launch of Rail Safety Week 2022. “Over the last five years the Government has invested significantly to improve level ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Regional approach the focus at ASEAN and East Asia Summit talks
    The Foreign Minister has wrapped up a series of meetings with Indo-Pacific partners in Cambodia which reinforced the need for the region to work collectively to deal with security and economic challenges. Nanaia Mahuta travelled to Phnom Penh for a bilateral meeting between ASEAN foreign ministers and Aotearoa New Zealand, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • The beat goes on as Government renews support for musicians
    Extension of Aotearoa Touring Programme supporting domestic musicians The Programme has supported more than 1,700 shows and over 250 artists New Zealand Music Commission estimates that around 200,000 Kiwis have been able to attend shows as a result of the programme The Government is hitting a high note, with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to attend Guadalcanal Commemorations in the Solomon Islands
    Minister of Defence Peeni Henare will depart tomorrow for Solomon Islands to attend events commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Guadalcanal. While in Solomon Islands, Minister Henare will also meet with Solomon Islands Minister of National Security, Correctional Services and Police Anthony Veke to continue cooperation on security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New programme to provide insights into regenerative dairy farming 
    The Government is partnering with Ngāi Tahu Farming Limited and Ngāi Tūāhuriri on a whole-farm scale study in North Canterbury to validate the science of regenerative farming, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today.   The programme aims to scientifically evaluate the financial, social and environmental differences between regenerative and conventional practices. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More women on public boards than ever before
    52.5% of people on public boards are women Greatest ever percentage of women Improved collection of ethnicity data “Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees is now 52.5 percent, the highest ever level. The facts prove that diverse boards bring a wider range of knowledge, expertise and skill. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Awards support Pacific women
    I am honoured to support the 2022 Women in Governance Awards, celebrating governance leaders, directors, change-makers, and rising stars in the community, said Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio. For the second consecutive year, MPP is proudly sponsoring the Pacific Governance Leader category, recognising Pacific women in governance and presented to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt investment into Whakatāne regeneration reaches new milestones
    Today Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash turned the sod for the new Whakatāne Commercial Boat Harbour, cut the ribbon for the revitalised Whakatāne Wharf, and inspected work underway to develop the old Whakatāne Army Hall into a visitor centre, all of which are part of the $36.8 million ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government determined to get a better deal for consumers
    New Zealanders are not getting a fair deal on some key residential building supplies and while the Government has already driven improvements in the sector, a Commerce Commission review finds that  changes are needed to make it more competitive. “New Zealand is facing the same global cost of living and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government exceeds Mana in Mahi target
    Mana in Mahi reaches a milestone surpassing 5,000 participants 75 per cent of participants who had been on a benefit for two or more years haven’t gone back onto a benefit 89 per cent who have a training pathway are working towards a qualification at NZQA level 3 or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government opens new research and innovation hub
    The Government has invested $7.7 million in a research innovation hub which was officially opened today by Minister of Research, Science and Innovation Dr Ayesha Verrall. The new facility named Te Pā Harakeke Flexible Labs comprises 560 square metres of new laboratory space for research staff and is based at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Unemployment remains low and wages rise despite volatile global environment
    Unemployment has remained near record lows thanks to the Government’s economic plan to support households and businesses through the challenging global environment, resulting in more people in work and wages rising. Stats NZ figures show the unemployment rate was 3.3 percent in the June quarter, with 96,000 people classed out ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • First ever climate adaptation plan lays foundations for resilient communities
    Action to address the risks identified in the 2020 climate change risk assessment, protecting lives, livelihoods, homes, businesses and infrastructure A joined up approach that will support community-based adaptation with national policies and legislation Providing all New Zealanders with information about local climate risks via a new online data ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New mental health and addiction services making a difference for Māori
    Māori with mental health and addiction challenges have easier access to care thanks to twenty-nine Kaupapa Māori primary mental health and addiction services across Aotearoa, Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare says. “Labour is the first government to take mental health seriously for all New Zealanders. We know that Māori ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Data and Statistics Bill Passes its Third Reading
    A Bill which updates New Zealand’s statistics legislation for the 21st century has passed its third and final reading today, Minister of Statistics David Clark said. The Data and Statistics Act replaces the Statistics Act, which has been in effect since 1975. “In the last few decades, national data and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Further moves to improve the lives of disabled people
    The Accessibility for New Zealanders Bill has passed its first reading in Parliament today, marking a significant milestone to improve the lives of disabled people. “The Bill aims to address accessibility barriers that prevent disabled people, tāngata whaikaha and their whānau, and others with accessibility needs from living independently,” said ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the China Business Summit
    Kia ora koutou, da jia hao It’s great to be back at this year’s China Business Summit. I would first like to acknowledge Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, former Prime Minister Helen Clark, His Excellency Ambassador Wang Xiaolong, and parliamentary colleagues both current and former the Right Honourable Winston Peters, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Further changes to CCCFA Regulations will improve safe access to credit
    Narrowing the expenses considered by lenders Relaxing the assumptions that lenders were required to make about credit cards and buy-now pay-later schemes. Helping make debt refinancing or debt consolidation more accessible if appropriate for borrowers The Government is clarifying the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance (CCCFA) Regulations, to ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government prioritises firearm prohibition orders to reduce gun harm
    The Firearms Prohibition Order Legislation Bill will be passed through all remaining stages by the end of next week, Police Minister Chris Hipkins said. The Justice Select Committee has received public feedback and finalised its report more quickly than planned. It reported back to the House on Friday.  “The Bill will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • National plan to protect kauri commences
    The Government has stepped up activity to protect kauri, with a National Pest Management Plan (NPMP) coming into effect today, Biosecurity Minister Damien O'Connor and Associate Environment Minister James Shaw said. “We have a duty to ensure this magnificent species endures for future generations and also for the health of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Support for Samoa’s Climate Change Plan and rebuild of Savalalo Market
     Prime Minister Ardern met with members of Samoa’s Cabinet in Apia, today, announcing the launch of a new climate change partnership and confirming support for the rebuild of the capital’s main market, on the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Friendship between Aotearoa New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Reconnecting with ASEAN and Malaysia
    Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta departs for the Indo-Pacific region today for talks on security and economic issues at meetings of ASEAN and the East Asia Summit in Cambodia, and during bilateral engagements in Malaysia. “Engaging in person with our regional partners is a key part of our reconnecting strategy as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Statement to the 2022 Review Conference for the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
    United Nations Headquarters, New York City  Thank you, Mr President. Ngā mihi ki a koutou. I extend my warm congratulations to you and assure you of the full cooperation of the New Zealand delegation. I will get right to it. In spite of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the nuclear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • 10,000 more permanent public homes added under the Labour Government
    A major milestone of 10,037 additional public homes has been achieved since Labour came into office, the Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods confirmed today. “It’s extremely satisfying and a testament to our commitment to providing a safety net for people who need public housing, that we have delivered these warm, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Sanctions on Russian armed forces and weapons manufacturers
    The Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta has announced further sanctions on the armed forces and military-industrial complex of the Russian Federation. “President Putin and the Russian military are responsible for violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, which is a grave breach of fundamental international law,” Nanaia Mahuta ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government plan to boost health workers
    Easing the process for overseas nurses and provision of up to $10,000 in financial support for international nurses for NZ registration costs. Provide for the costs of reregistration for New Zealand nurses who want to return to work. Covering international doctors’ salaries during their six-week clinical induction courses and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Today marks one year since Government’s Dawn Raids apology
    A new  future between Pacific Aotearoa and Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei is the essence of a Dawn Raids Apology anniversary event in Auckland this month, said Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio. One year ago, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern formally apologised to Pacific communities impacted by the Dawn Raids in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PM Speech to China Business Summit
    Tēnā koutou katoa Tuia ngā waka, Tuia ngā wawata, Tuia ngā hou-kura Let us bind our connection, let us bind our vision, let us bind our shared aspiration for peace and prosperity. This year marks a significant milestone in the New Zealand – China relationship.   Fifty years ago – 1972 – ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cook Islands Language Week will close generational gap
    It’s Cook Islands Language week and the Minister of Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio wants the community to focus on what it means to keep the language alive across the generations. “Our Cook Islands community in Aotearoa have decided to focus on the same theme as last years; ‘ Ātuitui’ia ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cost of Living support payment to reach over 2 million New Zealanders
    From 1 August an estimated 2.1 million New Zealanders will be eligible to receive the first targeted Cost of Living Payment as part of the Government’s plan to help soften the impact of rising global inflationary pressures affecting New Zealanders, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. The payments will see eligible ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s border fully open to visitors and students
    · New Zealand’s international border opens to all visitors, including from non-visa waiver countries, and international students from 11:59PM, 31 July 2022. · Cruise ships and recreational yachts able to arrive at New Zealand ports. This evening marks the final step in the Government’s reconnecting plan, with visitors from non-visa ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government sets out plan to eliminate HIV transmission in New Zealand
    New Action Plan to eliminate HIV transmission released for consultation today $18 million Budget 2022 boost Key measures to achieve elimination include increasing prevention and testing, improving access to care and treatment and addressing stigma The Government has today released its plan to eliminate the transmission of HIV in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government support lifts income for beneficiaries
    A report released today shows Government support has lifted incomes for Beneficiaries by 40 percent over and above inflation since 2018. “This is the first time this data set has been collected, and it clearly shows Government action is having an impact,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “This Government made a commitment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Māori Housing: Urban development underway in Mt Wellington
    Thirty new warm, safe and affordable apartments to be delivered by Tauhara North No 2 Trust in Tāmaki Makaurau Delivered through Whai Kāinga Whai Oranga programme, jointly delivered by Te Puni Kōkiri and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development Allocation of the apartments will be prioritised to support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Phil Twyford to attend Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty meeting
    Disarmament and Arms Control Minister Phil Twyford will lead Aotearoa New Zealand’s delegation to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference at the United Nations in New York next week. “Aotearoa New Zealand has a long history of advocating for a world free of nuclear weapons,” Phil Twyford said. “The NPT has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Construction Sector Accord – launch of Transformation Plan 2022-2025
      I am delighted to join you today for the launch of the Construction Sector Accord Transformation Plan 2022-2025. I would like to acknowledge my colleagues – the other Accord Ministers, the Accord governance and sector leadership, the CEOs of Government agencies, and leaders from the construction sector. The construction ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Work underway to make Wairarapa roads safer
    Associate Minister of Transport Kieran McAnulty was joined this morning by the Mayors of Carterton and Masterton, local Iwi and members of the Wairarapa community to turn the first sod on a package of crucial safety improvements for State Highway 2 in Wairarapa. “The work to improve safety on this ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Next steps taken to deliver Milford Opportunities Project
    The board to take the Milford Opportunities Project (MOP) forward has been announced by Minister of Conservation Poto Williams today.  “The Milford Opportunities Project is a once in a generation chance to reshape the gateway to Milford Sound Piopiotahi and redesign our transport infrastructure to benefit locals, visitors, and our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Construction Sector Transformation Plan to accelerate change in industry
    A new three year plan to transform the construction industry into a high-performing sector with increased productivity, diversity and innovation has been unveiled by the Minister for Building and Construction Dr Megan Woods and Accord Steering group this morning. As lead minister for the Construction Sector Accord, Dr Woods told ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago