The Ministry of Health is today holding the first of five workshops with mental health and addiction leaders and those with lived experience to discuss plans for new frontline services announced in the Wellbeing Budget.

The Ministry of Health is holding five workshops across the country this week to meet with Non-Government Organisations, Primary Health Organisation, District Health Board representatives and others from the mental health sector to discuss the vision and intent of the Government’s Expanding Access and Choice initiative.

“The Wellbeing Budget allocated $455 million over four years to create a new frontline mental health and addiction service,” says Health Minister Dr David Clark.

“Greater access to services and more choice about the kinds of support available are a core part of this work, including in Kaupapa Māori organisations, Pacific organisations, general practices, community and youth settings.

“These new services must be easy to access, easy to navigate, and they must help people,” says Clark.

The new services will be rolled out nationwide over five years – in recognition of the need to train more qualified mental health workers and build new facilities.

“It will take time to get the sector, communities, people with lived experience and Māori together to design the services that are required, which is why it’s important this is beginning already.

“While this is going on, there is additional funding within this initiative to support existing services which are already doing good work to help people,” says Clark.

The workshops are in Wellington on 23 July 2019, Christchurch on 25 July 2019, Dunedin on 26 July 2019, Hamilton on 30 July 2019, and Auckland on 31 July 2019. More workshops will be held in coming months.

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