The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists welcomes the announcement of an Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction in New Zealand.
‘Psychiatrists have a critical part to play in this inquiry as the historical under investment in the mental health has resulted in significant psychiatry workforce shortages, which are seriously impacting many people living with mental illness,’ said Dr Mark Lawrence RANZCP Chair of the New Zealand National Committee - Tu Te Akaaka Roa.
‘Everyone in New Zealand has the right to access mental health and addiction support when needed, but the demands on the system exceed the capacity of services, and this is where people fall through the cracks.
‘The problems identified in mental health and addiction services cannot be addressed by looking at issues in isolation, and we strongly support the Inquiry’s broad-based and cross-sectoral approach to examining wider social factors that impact mental health.
‘The RANZCP also supports the Inquiry’s focus on equity and access. It is encouraging to see the Inquiry will address the inequities which Māori and Pacific people often face when accessing mental health services. The emphasis on specific Kaupapa services for Māori is warmly welcomed.
‘The RANZCP is pleased to see a wide range of experts appointed to the panel, including Sir Mason Durie who is a RANZCP fellow. Given the current workforce pressures it would be also helpful to have a practising clinician as part of the expert panel.
‘The RANZCP looks forward to contributing to the Inquiry and advising on evidence-based approaches to create a more responsive and accessible mental health system,’ Dr Lawrence said.
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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.