Under the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Act 2020(external link), the Commission has a number of key functions to fulfil. These are:

  • to assess and report publicly on the mental health and wellbeing of people in New Zealand
  • to assess and report publicly on factors that affect people’s mental health and wellbeing
  • to assess and report publicly on the effectiveness, efficiency, and adequacy of approaches to mental health and wellbeing
  • to make recommendations to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, and adequacy of approaches to mental health and wellbeing
  • to monitor mental health services and addiction services and to advocate improvements to those services
  • to promote alignment, collaboration, and communication between entities involved in mental health and wellbeing
  • to advocate for the collective interests of people who experience mental distress or addiction (or both), and the persons (including family and whānau) who support them.

Monitoring and advocacy

The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission has taken on the monitoring and advocacy function for mental health and addiction services from the outgoing Mental Health Commissioner at the Office of the Health and Disability Commissioner(external link) (HDC). 

The HDC and the outgoing Mental Health Commissioner strongly support the establishment of the new Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission, with its broader wellbeing focus as well as a focus on mental health and addiction services.

The outgoing Mental Health Commissioner and his team worked closely with the Initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission to make sure the monitoring and advocacy function transitions smoothly.

HDC continues to promote and protect the rights of consumers as set out in the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights(external link) and act as an independent watchdog for people’s rights when using health and disability services, resolving complaints, and holding providers to account for improving their practices at an individual and system-wide level.

The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission will continue to work with the Health and Disability Commissioner and the Ministry of Health on issues relating to mental health and addiction.

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