The Access and Choice Programme: Report on the first three years [PDF, 1.8 MB] and its accompanying Improving access and choice for youth [PDF, 431 KB]report look at the first three years of the programme rollout since funds were allocated to the priority initiative in the 2019 Wellbeing Budget.
These reports provide us with an opportunity to see where progress is being made, not only in access to services but also in having the opportunity to have genuine service choice.
Our independent report on the Access and Choice Programme(external link) highlights the importance of improving access and choice for mental health and addiction services in New Zealand. Access to these services when they are needed, and giving people a diverse choice of services, are vitally important for the successful long-term transformation of mental health, addiction, and wellbeing systems in Aotearoa.
The Access and Choice programme has a particular focus on people with mild-to-moderate mental health and addiction needs. It aims to improve access to primary mental health, wellbeing, and addiction services, including in Kaupapa Māori, Pacific, youth, general practice, and community settings.
The report has found that the programme has put much-needed investment into primary and community care in line with many of the recommendations in He Ara Oranga: Report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction(external link)(external link), enabling important services to be provided.
The overall programme is on schedule, with the rollout of integrated primary mental health and addiction services proceeding as planned. However, we would like to see the rollout of services for Māori, Pacific peoples, and youth accelerated. We also want outh services prioritised and delivered in ways and settings that are acceptable and accessible to young people.
Our key findings show that as of 30 June 2021, there are:
For the news story that accompanies this report, click here(external link).
We would like to thank our external peer reviewers for their guidance and advice, and the time they gave to strengthen our report.
We gratefully acknowledge the efforts of our peer reviewers:
We are also extremely thankful to the people with lived experience of mental distress or addiction (or both), and service providers who have shared their perspectives and experiences of the Access and Choice programme.