Forty ways to make a big difference to New Zealanders’ mental health


Forty ways to make a big difference to New Zealanders’ mental health

David Clark receives Report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction
Inquiry panel presents Report of Gov't Inquiry into Mental Health & Addiction to health minister David Clark (holding report). Panel members: Sir Mason Durie, Jemaima Tiatia-Seath, Ron Paterson, chair, Dean Rangihuna, Barbara Disley & Josiah Tualamali'i


So the Inquiry panel sees primary care as "fundamental" and wants to "focus on primary care" (Recommendation 13). OK, sounds fine, logical and potentially very likely to make a difference for the “missing middle” (those with "mild-to-moderate and moderate-to-severe mental health...needs". 

So what is the practical recommendation for primary care?  Let me quote the one strategy for primary care provided.... "Agree that future strategies for the primary health care sector have an explicit focus on addressing mental health and addiction needs in primary and community settings, in alignment with the vision and direction set out in this Inquiry."

Is this management speak for "we have no idea on how to improve access to primary care or have GP access to evidence and outcome based therapies, so lets have a vague platitude here".

That is about as lame as the suicide prevention strategy, namely "Set a target of 20% reduction in suicide rates by 2030." [recommendation 31].  Nothing about looking at evidence based strategies or why our current systems are failing, just hope that something will happen to reduce suicides in the next 12 years that we can claim the glory for.

I think Mike Hosking's "Mike's Minute" summarises this well, "What's going to get done? Nothing."

The last  time   I   committed  a patient    under the mental  health  act  was when  he  was   lunging  at  people with  a  live  firebrand  and threatening  the   neighbourhood  with  being   scorched . We  were  doing  well  at  calming  him  down   till   he started  denting   my  car . with  the   stake  . Police  called and patient  sectioned . back  in  the  80s

Work  taken from GPS    and  given to  DAO s Duely  authorised  officers . Better paid  and    paid  for  being on  call  and   paid for  after hours   and  paid   for   call  outs  and  public  holidays  .  GPs  still  a back  up  but  Not  paid all  of  the  above !