Time to get on with the Mental Health Inquiry report

Mental health and addiction workers represented by the PSA are eager to engage with the Government on the much anticipated report from the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction received today by Health Minister David Clark.

“The PSA’s Mental Health and Addictions Committee has been eagerly anticipating the Inquiry panel’s recommendations and recognises that the Government needs time to weigh up its response,” said Kerry Davies, PSA national secretary.

MentalHACommittee 28Nov

“We are disappointed the report could not be released today, but at the same time we have never underestimated the challenge faced by the Inquiry panel to finalise its report nor the time needed by the Government to ensure that substantial changes flow from the report.

“Through the PSA Mental Health and Addictions Committee and our wider membership’s involvement in the Yes We Care campaign the PSA fought hard for this Inquiry at a time when significant public support for reform of mental health has continued to grow. In addition throughout 2018 we have participated heavily in contributing to the Inquiry through our submissions, including a PSA Youth submissions, face to face meetings with the Inquiry panel and public meetings.

“When the report is released next month we will be analysing the details of its 40 recommendations and looking for the movement needed on critical issues such as funding for mental health and addiction services and support for strengthening the workforce.

“Meanwhile we recently met the Minister to offer to contribute an expert worker perspective at any time during the process before recommendations are converted into actions by March 2019”.

Note to journalists: PSA is the largest union in mental health and addictions, with members working as mental health nurses, alcohol and drug clinicians and counsellors, mental health assistants, peer support workers, occupational therapists, social workers, psychologists, community-based care and support workers and clerical and administration workers.  We work in Community Public Services, Kaupapa Māori Services, DHBs and other government agencies such as Oranga Tamariki and Corrections. This provides a unique whole-of-service perspective, rather than a specifically occupational perspective.