The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission welcomes today’s release of Kia Manawanui Aotearoa, the government’s long-term pathway to mental wellbeing, by Minister of Health, Hon Andrew Little.
“We are very pleased to see the pathway launched today as the Government continues to show commitment to drive change and deliver on its obligation to He Ara Oranga. This pathway is an important step forward in transforming our mental health and addiction system and gives us a benchmark from which we can monitor progress," says Board Chair, Hayden Wano.
"We believe in a future where mental wellbeing is attainable for everyone and support the call from Mā te rongo ake to take a whole-systems approach to transformation. Through values-based leadership, working collaboratively, and bringing focus to the right things, meaningful change can happen on the ground.”
Hayden Wano says the Commission has been calling for a clear implementation plan for the direction set by He Ara Oranga and wants to see five critical areas prioritised:
The Commission provides system leadership and oversight by monitoring people’s wellbeing in Aotearoa and the things that help people to be and stay well, as well as assessing how our mental health and addiction system supports people’s wellbeing.
“We see our role as being the eyes and ears of the people and reflecting those views back to government. As an independent Crown entity, we look at how the system promotes health and wellbeing, as well as how the system identifies and responds to people experiencing mental distress or addiction (or both), and their whānau, families, and supporters,” says Hayden Wano.
“The Commission is well-positioned to support this next complex and challenging stage in evolving our wellbeing system. We have been working hard to grow strong relationships with priority groups who disproportionately experience mental distress and addiction, as well as people with lived experience of mental distress and addiction, so we can strongly advocate for system improvements,” says Hayden Wano.
Later this year, the Commission will publish its first wellbeing report as well as its first report on the mental health and addiction system.
“We understand the urgent need for action. The Commission will provide insights and advice on what works well and bring people together to make it happen. Whānau and communities want to see things moving forward – the need at a local level is now. We will make sure that the need for mental health reform and advancing Aotearoa’s wellbeing agenda is kept front and centre across government,” says Hayden Wano.