National's mental health policy consists of 3 pages of rather aspirational goals and lists only some special focus groups, especially youth, children, cancer sufferers and new mothers. I did also have a look at the 'Rising to the Challenge: The Mental Health and Addiction Service Development Plan 2012-2017' when it was presented by then Associate Minister Peter Dunne, as far as I can recall.
There is talk of "consultation" they had with mental health and addiction treatment service providers and consumers, but I remember that a number of important submitters were not that convinced by that plan, as it was too vague on funding. There was much criticism about the short time of consultation, and lack of trust in the plan's talk about making other services more "efficient", so savings could be made, so that funds could be put into particular areas the plan mentions. Health sector submitters were worried about the bureaucratic and other tasks they already had to do, and about staffing levels, as without sufficient additional staff the goals could not be achieved.
Online mental health services are in my eyes also not sufficient to address issues youth and others have. They would be better served with face to face counselling and treatment. I know they want to improve work between sectors, like DHBs and PHOs cooperating also with WINZ and ACC, to assist people into work, but how that will work remains to be seen.
The numbers National present can be misleading, as a closer look may show, it has been "saved" in other important areas, where service delivery may be compromised. And 200 million over 6 years will hardly have kept up with population growth and other increased demand.
And yes, no ring-fencing and no clarity on how NGOs and so are supposed to deliver, with very limited funding.
No, National's policy gets the thumbs down from me.
Me too Marc.
It would be helpful if there advisers would explain how medical people work from a: ‘first do no harm’ foundation.
With these policy’s – that National is not the only charlatan – you only have to look at other policy’s or lack of, to see how budgeting to treat mental sickness is a syndical detraction.
Mental health can be damaged and lost by other policy or lack of. At least Labour is going to have a rethink about there more than liberal alcohol policy’s they introduced last time they ruled. Which is what I call ‘growing up’ and admitting that by completing saturating the place in advertising didn’t actually reduce alcohol induced mental heath problems, for the children of middle class alcoholics. Just because we have a culture thats celebrating wine production, by drinking it as often as possible doesn’t equal sophistication.
For what it worth, and as my disclaimer, I am a reformed alcohol addict. Just past twenty years sober, and life is well worth living. I had the help of publicly funded addiction treatment, twenty years ago.