Release: New Zealand Government
Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman
Minister of Health
$20m mental health package for Canterbury
The Government will provide an extra $20 million over the next three years to increase mental health support for people in Canterbury, Health Minister Jonathan Coleman announced today.
“Supporting the rebuild in Canterbury is a key Government priority. We’re committed to ensuring Cantabrians receive the health services they need,” says Dr Coleman.
“Following last month’s earthquake, it was timely to review whether any additional mental health and wellbeing support was needed. The Ministry of Health led this work in conjunction with Canterbury DHB and other agencies.
“Cabinet has agreed to a package of initiatives to boost current mental health services in Canterbury. This includes an extra 27 FTE primary care and community based mental health workers, as well as further funding for current programmes such as telehealth and workforce wellbeing support.
“This package recognises the increased demand on Canterbury’s mental health services since the earthquakes. I’d like to acknowledge the staff who do a fantastic job providing mental health and wellbeing support to Cantabrians.
“International evidence shows that psychosocial recovery after a major disaster can take five to ten years. Most people will recover over time with the support of their families and communities. However, some people will require more targeted interventions.”
The Government is also in discussions with Christchurch City Council to establish a Crown-Council Partnership Fund to support community-led psychosocial wellbeing and resilience.
“The Government has agreed to provide up to $1 million a year for the next three years in match funding which could be allocated via the Christchurch Earthquake Mayoral Relief Fund,” says Dr Coleman.
“I have asked officials to work up a business case on the partnership arrangement with Christchurch City Council. It’s important to ensure this work fits alongside and complements current services and efforts.”
In addition to the $20 million package, the Ministry of Health will extend the All Right? campaign for a further three years from 2016/17.
“The All Right? campaign is designed to help Cantabrians think about their mental health and ways they can improve it. It plays an important role in the wider psychosocial recovery effort,” says Dr Coleman.
The $20 million package of initiatives includes:
· An extra 8 clinical staff for child, adolescent and family services to ensure timely care and increased school based mental health team capacity.
· An additional 8 non-clinical roles to provide more direct access to community mental health, alcohol and drug support workers so more people can be treated in the community.
· An extra 10 clinical roles in primary care and community settings to support children, young people and families with a higher level of need.
· An additional Child Youth and Family Liaison clinical position to ensure timely consults and liaison for children and families at risk.
· More support for general practices to provide increased capacity and support for people with mental health or addiction issues.
· Online support for Maori exiting alcohol and drug treatment to provide continued support.
· Additional funding for Telehealth Support which includes Canterbury Support Line.
· A range of programmes to support the mental health and addiction workforce across primary, community and specialist services.
· Packages of care for people with complex needs to enable them to move from hospital inpatient services to supported living in the community.
Canterbury DHB has an annual budget of $1.36 billion – an increase of $254 million over the last seven years.
The Government has provided a range of support to Cantabrians through various agencies since the first earthquake in September 2010.
The Government has also provided the DHB with an extra $86 million to meet the additional costs of the earthquake recovery, including delivery of services like mental health. This includes a $16 million funding boost for 2015/16.
Close to $1 billion is being invested into redeveloping Canterbury’s health facilities. The $300 million Acute Services Building construction contract was signed recently. This is in addition to the $215 million redevelopment of Burwood Hospital and the new $72 million Outpatients facility.