New Zealand Law Society - Government releases response to Mental Health and Addiction Inquiry

Government releases response to Mental Health and Addiction Inquiry

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The Government has released its response to He Ara Oranga (the report of the Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction).

It accepts in principle, or agrees to further consideration, of 38 of the 40 recommendations made by the Inquiry Panel.

The Panel's report was released on 4 December 2018. The Government's response is outlined in a press release by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister David Clark.

Ms Ardern says one of the inquiry recommendations which has been accepted is repeal and replacement of the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992.

She says other recommendations accepted include:

  • Significantly increase access to publicly funded mental health and addiction services for people with mild to moderate needs;
  • Commit to increase choice by broadening the types of services available;
  • Urgently complete the national suicide prevention strategy;
  • Establish an independent commission to provide leadership and oversight of mental health and addiction.

The statement says the Government rejected two of the Inquiry's recommendations:

  • Directing the State Services Commission to report on options for creating a ‘locus of responsibility’ for social wellbeing within Government;
  • Set a target of 20% reduction in suicide rates by 2030.