Hui, fono and public meetings starting for Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction

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As part of the Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction the Government is holding hui, fono and forums across the country. Many of the regional visits include public meetings.

The events start on 27 April 2018 and run through July. See the full list of public meeting locations and dates on the inquiry website.

A consultation document was released on 27 April 2018.

The New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse is currently developing a selected bibliography on links between abuse/violence, trauma and mental health issues to help inform your submissions.

The purpose of the Inquiry is to "identify unmet needs related to mental health and addiction, and develop recommendations for a cohesive mental health and addiction approach for Aotearoa, New Zealand."

An email update to stakeholders has information about plans for the inquiry, stating:

"The Inquiry has begun a broad stocktake of existing research, reports, data, and other information that has already been produced in this area. We are also working with a range of government and non-government agencies to better understand the sector and the services and support already in place. We will be going further than government, and wider than just the health sector, as we undertake this stocktake."

The stakeholder update also says:

"To ensure we hear as many perspectives as possible, the panel members have decided that rather than establish small advisory groups, we will instead engage directly and widely with stakeholder groups and attend forums, hui and fono across the country. Panel members are meeting with interested groups and are very keen to hear from other groups and individuals who want to share their thoughts with us. This includes directly reaching out to, and engaging with Māori, Pacific peoples, young people, people with disabilities, LGBTIQA+ groups, people living in rural communities, the elderly, veterans, minority, immigrant and refugee populations, victims of violence and people in correctional facilities. To do this well, we seek advice from groups on how they want to be engaged with."

To receive updates about the inquiry and get involved, complete the Expressions of Interest form.

Update:

The Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction has kicked off with the launch of the website, www.mentalhealth.inquiry.govt.nz, and Consultation Document. The Consultation Document explains how to give feedback. The deadline for submissions is 5 June 2018. However, the hui, fono and public meetings are running from now until early July 2018.

Background information

Prime Minister Jacinda Arden announced details of the Inquiry in January of this year. The terms of reference, Cabinet paper and members of the Inquiry are available on the Inquiry website: www.mentalhealth.inquiry.govt.nz.

On the scope, the Terms of Reference note:

"The inquiry will need to understand and acknowledge the wider social and economic determinants of mental health and addiction (for example poverty, inadequate housing, family violence or other trauma) and cultural factors, in particular the historical and contemporary differences in outcomes for Māori, and consider the implications of these determinants and factors for the design and delivery of mental health and addiction services. Commentary on these matters is welcome to help inform the Government’s work programmes in these areas."

For more information and additional commentary from advocates and organisations, see our previous story Updates from Government on pay equity, mental health, Oranga Tamariki and more.

Related reading

In February 2018, the Office of the Health and Disability Commissioner published the report, New Zealand’s mental health and addiction services: The monitoring and advocacy report of the Mental Health Commissioner.

Update

LeVa has announced that the mental health inquiry panel members will be joining the Growing Pacific Solutions (GPS2018) regional seminars to hear about solutions for Pasifika. The seminars will "...focus on how New Zealand is preventing and responding to Pasifika people with mental health and addiction problems, and how systems and services can be improved for Pasifika people and their families."

Selected media

Rainbow voices to the Government Inquiry into Mental Health, Press Release: RainbowYOUTH and #wearebeneficaries, Scoop, 07.05.2018 

NZ mental-health inquiry starts, Otago Daily Times, 30.04.2018

Mental Health and Addiction Inquiry submissions underway, Press Release: Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction, 27.04.2018

Focus needed on community based mental health services, Radio NZ, 27.04.2018

Mental health inquiry urged to work as fast as possible, Manawatū Standard, 27.04.2018

'I believed I was worth nothing and no-one would ever want me', Stuff, 27.04.2018

Suicide factor in young Maori death rate, Waatea News, 27.04.2018

Kids in poorest areas three times more likely to die - report, Newstalk ZB, 26.04.2018

Concerns over mental health phone line, Radio NZ, 26.04.2018

Manawatū to present submission on Mental Health Inquiry, Māori Television, 26.04.2018

Cyberbullying brings twice the risk, study finds, NZ Herald, 23.04.2018

Govt Inquiry into Mental Health & Addiction: Public meetings, Press Release: Nelson Marlborough District Health Board, Scoop, 23.04.2018

New Zealand's young activists need to step up for mental health, Stuff, 09.04.2018

The mental health inquiry - a call to action for Pasifika, LeVa website, 30.01.2018

Mental health review to look at services and equity of access - Govt, Stuff, 23.01.2018