Mental Health and Wellbeing Long-Term Pathway

Closed 24 Mar 2021

Opened 3 Mar 2021

Overview

He Ara Oranga: Report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction found that significant shifts were needed to enable better mental wellbeing outcomes for people. It set out a clear and aspirational vision for the future – mental health and wellbeing for all.

Since the Government’s response to He Ara Oranga, the Ministry of Health has taken action to address the recommendations of the report accepted by the Government, focusing on four initial priority areas:

  • setting up the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission
  • establishing the Suicide Prevention Office and releasing a suicide prevention strategy and action plan
  • beginning work on repealing and replacing the Mental Health Act
  • expanding access and choice of primary mental health and addiction supports.

To support the changes called for in He Ara Oranga, in 2019 the Government also invested $1.9 billion into mental wellbeing in a cross-government package across health, social development, justice, housing initiatives and infrastructure.

Prior to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Ministry of Health had started working on the development of a long-term pathway as part of the Government’s response to He Ara Oranga and the call for transformation in the way we respond to mental health and addiction. This work became part of the development of a national psychosocial plan, as both were focussed on mental wellbeing.

The Ministry of Health developed Kia Kaha, Kia Māia, Kia Ora Aotearoa – COVID-19 Psychosocial and Mental Wellbeing Recovery Plan (Kia Kaha) – this sets out the plan and actions for the next 12–18 months to support the mental wellbeing of New Zealanders. The Ministry publicly engaged on the plan during May and June 2020 and received almost 150 submissions. Overall, there was strong endorsement for the direction and focus areas set out in the plan.

Kia Kaha provides a framework within which government agencies, service providers and communities can see themselves as contributors to mental wellbeing. The plan is grounded in the direction set by He Ara Oranga and helps give effect to key recommendations. The direction we had been heading in prior to the pandemic enabled the sector to respond quickly and meant we already had services in place that would help.

The health system is complex and multi-faceted, and the scale of change called for in He Ara Oranga is substantial. The type of change required to enable transformation requires everyone in the system, and within the organisations and structures, to support and be part of the change. It will take time, and it will be iterative. We believe a long-term pathway will be helpful to provide direction on priorities and actions over multiple years, however we also recognise that we will need to take an adaptive approach throughout the process.

We are now developing the long-term pathway, building on Kia Kaha and what we have heard through engagement with the sector, stakeholders and communities over the past 18 months – and through the vast engagement that was done through He Ara Oranga.

The long-term pathway will outline the high-level direction to support and enable the transformation of our approach to mental health and addiction over the next ten years. It is not intended to be prescriptive or definitive, but rather will allow for a flexible approach that can be adapted alongside changes in the health and social sectors and in response to the changing needs of New Zealanders over time.

We know that the significant shift required to develop New Zealand’s future approach to mental health and addiction cannot be achieved by the health sector alone – it needs to be a collaborative approach to transformation.

A lot has happened in the last 18 months with the development of new services and COVID-19. We want to take this opportunity to check in with you to understand whether priorities, direction and expectations have changed.

We are seeking the views of all our stakeholders to help us continue to develop the plan for the future, so we can ensure it will achieve the change we need to support a transformed approach.

Why we are consulting

What we've heard

We’ve had substantial feedback from the sector over the last 18 months on how to achieve the significant change envisioned through He Ara Oranga; we’re building on insights gained through:

Thanks to the rich information we’ve received, we’re building on Kia Kaha to develop the long-term pathway for how we achieve transformation of New Zealand’s approach to mental health and addiction.

We want to know if anything has changed as any longer-term impacts of COVID-19 are realised. We also know that the change required cannot be driven by the mental health and addiction sector alone, it requires a collaborative approach across government, service providers and communities.

This represents the next phase of our ongoing engagement to implement the Government’s response to He Ara Oranga and transform our approach. There will be further opportunities to help shape our future system and services.

Developing a long-term pathway

We’re hoping to gather a wide range of perspectives from a wide range of stakeholders. Some questions might not be relevant to you, so please feel free to answer the ones that are. We’ve also included an opportunity to share any further thoughts at the end.

What happens next

We are seeking the views of all our stakeholders to help us continue to develop the plan for the future, so we can ensure it will achieve the change we need to support a transformed approach.

This represents the next phase of our ongoing engagement to implement the Government’s response to He Ara Oranga and transform our approach. There will be further opportunities to help shape our future system and services.

Audiences

  • Health sector

Interests

  • Mental health