Government hiding mental health progress

Mental health professionals across New Zealand are concerned progress on the Government’s promise to transform the mental health system has stalled, National’s Mental Health spokesperson Matt Doocey says.

“The Government has stopped annual reporting on the quality of our mental health services and has not yet released reporting around their progress on implementing the 38 He Ara Oranga Mental Health Inquiry recommendations.

“The mental health of New Zealanders is an incredibly important issue throughout our communities. The public deserves to know if the Government’s $1.9 billion investment is making a material difference.

“With both the 2018 and 2019 Annual Reports delayed and the Mental Health Foundation’s comments this week that it feels as though it’s being ‘gagged’ by the Ministry of Health, it looks as though the Government is avoiding being held accountable for its progress, or lack thereof.

“Health Minister Andrew Little has delivered no transparent plan for implementing the recommendations committed to by the Government from the mental health inquiry more than two years ago.

“We are seeing skyrocketing numbers of at-risk new Zealanders who are finding it increasingly hard to receive the support they need from mental health services.

“It’s easy to make big funding announcements but it’s pointless if they’re not measured or delivered on.”