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RANZCP calls for focus on mental health in NZ election

19 September 2017
 
 
 

The next government of New Zealand will need to focus on adequate resourcing and funding of mental health to achieve real change and address one of the leading causes of health-related disability in New Zealand, The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) has urged the main political parties.

“Mental illness touches our whole society in some way whether it be an older person with dementia, a person with complex mental and physical health needs or those affected by drug and alcohol dependency,” said Dr Mark Lawrence, Chair of RANZCP’s New Zealand National Committee, Tu Te Akaaka Roa.

The RANZCP has signaled to the main political parties the three mental health priorities the new government will need to focus on: 

  1. Prevention and early intervention
  2. Taking a whole system approach to improving mental health services
  3. Addressing health inequities.

The RANZCP believes that all future health policies need to focus on reducing the burden of mental illness by:

  • identifying cost-effective ideas which support best practice in mental health
  • creating priorities for groups with high risk mental health issues and
  • developing current knowledge and research in mental health.

“We recognize that the delivery of mental health services has not always gone according to plan and we are reminded to learn and gain knowledge from our past to help us shape our future,” Dr Lawrence said.

“The RANZCP wants to work alongside key individuals, groups and organisations throughout New Zealand to create optimum future-focused mental health services available for everyone.”

“Mental health policy needs whole of government support to become operational and our expert workforce – our psychiatrists – need support to grow to help shape our future mental health environment,’ he said. 

To read the RANZCP’s full statement. 

ENQUIRIES: media@ranzcp.org or +61 437 315 911

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists is a membership organisation that prepares medical specialists in the field of psychiatry, supports and enhances clinical practice, advocates for people affected by mental illness and advises governments on mental health care. For information about our work, our members or our history, visit www.ranzcp.org.