Mental health awareness week 2016

Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman

Minister of Health

10 October 2016

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says mental health awareness week is a good reminder for people to think about their mental health and wellbeing.

The theme of this year’s mental health awareness week is 'Connect with nature for good mental health and wellbeing.’

“One in five New Zealanders will experienced a mental health issue during their lifetime. It’s important people can access the appropriate mental health and addiction services that they need,” says Dr Coleman.

“Mental health is a key area of focus for the Government. We’ve increased mental health and addiction services funding from $1.1 billion in 2008/09 to over $1.4 billion for 2015/16.

“But there’s always more we can do and the Government continues to work on improving mental health services. For example, Budget 2016 includes $12 million of funding over four years to increase support for people to access mental health services at an earlier stage.

“We’re also investing $12 million over four years to expand a successful programme that provides alcohol and drug support for pregnant women.

“A new Commissioning Framework, which sets national requirements for planning and designing support for people with mental health and addiction issues, will help to further improve services.”

There are a range of initiatives underway to support New Zealanders experiencing mental health and addiction issues, for example:

  • The national telehealth service has around 1,700 contacts a week via phone, text and web from people seeking mental health support from trained counsellors.
  • The second phase of the Rural Mental Wellness initiative was announced in June, supported by an extra $600,000 in funding from the Ministry of Health and Ministry for Primary Industries.
  • In March, the Government announced an extra $20 million investment to increase mental health and wellbeing support for Cantabrians.
  • Under the Prime Minister’s Youth Mental Health Project $64 million has been invested over four years to help young people aged 12 to 19.
  • The Ministry of Health is working with other government agencies, such as Justice, Police and Corrections to reduce the impact of mental health clients on their services.
  • Supporting primary and community care is a key focus. The Ministry of Health is currently working with sector experts to identify where further support is needed.
  • The recently refreshed website features stories from a variety of Kiwis who have courageously shared their journey. 
  • DHBs are making progress on their suicide prevention initiatives, in partnership with their local communities and other agencies. Work is also underway to refresh the Suicide Prevention Strategy and action plan.

For more information on managing how you’re feeling, including online tools, go to Phone 0800 111 757 to talk to a trained counsellor or to ask a question about any mental health related issue.

For more information about events for mental health awareness week go to

Media contact: Kirsty Taylor-Doig 021 838 372


Last updated: Monday, October 10, 2016

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