Although the Mental Health Foundation says the Government’s inquiry into mental health and addiction report, which was released last week, is good overall, the organisation says the report did not go into much detail about rural communities’ needs.
Chief executive Shaun Robinson said rural communities faced particular challenges including availability and distances to access services.
One of the key recommendations was the need for improved access to mental health services and a focus on strengthening primary health care, which had positive implications for rural communities.
”However, everybody wants action in mental health,” Mr Robinson said.
‘The thrust of it [the report] is saying there needs to be a major transformation in how we approach dealing with mental health in New Zealand.”
He said when he attended the RuralFest health conference/workshop at Parliament recently, there was a lot of discussion about ”rural proofing”. That meant the Government would have to run an impact analysis over any new policy or regulatory changes to see how it would affect rural communities.
Mr Robinson said he would also like to see alcohol and drug addictions moved from a criminal focus to a more health, rehabilitation and recovery focus.
Source: The Country