Inquiry into mental health services urged

An independent commission of inquiry into mental health services was recently requested by an Auckland professor.

Max Abbott, the Dean of the Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences at Auckland University of Technology (AUT), has said that a review of the services could not only help people with mental health issues, but also reduce offendings.

“The Minister of Justice, Amy Adams, yesterday highlighted the large number of people appearing before the courts who have mental health disorders, and called on the health sector to provide more help. Peter Dunn, Associate Minister of Health, has also recently called for a health rather than a criminal justice response to people who misuse illicit drugs,” said professor Abbott, who said that he supports both ministers.

In press release by the AUT, Abbott said that current services are strained. Some of the issues that should be addressed include funding, as well as the way that the services are delivered.

The article adds that there is a disconnect between primary and secondary care “with people with severe mental disorders having serious physical health problems and reduced life expectancy and many people with common anxiety and affective disorders being unable to access appropriate treatment and support.”

May is Mental Health Awareness Month in the United States and other countries. Since 1949, Mental Health America has been making efforts to reading millions all over the world to spread awareness through media campaigns and local events. This year, the theme is “Life With a Mental Illness,” which calls to on individuals to share what life is like for people who are struggling with it.

Read more about mental health awareness via Kiwi charity Mental Health Foundation New Zealand here.