Priority on youth mental health strikes a chord

The Cross-Party Mental Health and Addictions Wellbeing Group have prioritised the mental health and wellbeing of rangatahi and young people in a new cross-party report. The report shows collective political support on this important topic.

Te Hiringa Mahara welcomes recommendations in the Under One Umbrella: integrated mental health, alcohol and other drug use care for young people in New Zealand report released today by the Cross-party Mental Health and Addiction Wellbeing Group.

“Focusing attention on rangatahi and young people’s mental health is vital. Rangatahi and young people should be able to access the right support where and when they need,” says Karen Orsborn, Te Hiringa Mahara chief executive. 

“We only need to acknowledge increasing levels of distress, and the many well-known barriers to wellbeing, to understand that much more needs to be done to support young peoples’ mental health and wellbeing.

The four focus areas for success in the report covers cross government action, strengthening the service delivery system, building an evidence base and youth voice.

“Calling for the voices of young people to be heard in service policy and delivery echo what we have been saying,” said Ms Orsborn. 

The report recommends that health and social sector leaders prioritise investment in the mental health and wellbeing of young people and co-commission integrated youth programmes that span multiple jurisdictions.

“The report urges all parts of the system to work together, so it is heartening to see Cross-Party political support and leadership in Parliament prioritising rangatahi and young people. This needs to be sustained over the long term if we are going to achieve the transformation we need."

Rangatahi and young people are a priority for Te Hiringa Mahara. We are advocating for:

  • Expand access to youth mental health and addiction services in all localities
  • Reduce the number of rangatahi Māori and young people admitted to adult in-patient mental health services to zero
  • A focus on addressing the drivers of wellbeing for rangatahi and young people, and ensuring rangatahi and young people are involved in decisions that impact them.

Read the report: Under One Umbrella: integrated mental health, alcohol and other drug use care for young people in New Zealand report

To learn more about our work, visit three of our recent reports:

Te Huringa Tuarua: 2023 Youth services focus report (May 2023)

Ka whakahuatau te rangatahi mō te Toiora / Youth wellbeing insights report (May 2023)

Access and Choice Programme: Improvising access and choice for youth report (2022)

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