Platform | Atamira and the Mental Health Foundation have released their briefings to the incoming Parliament.
Both briefings call for meaningful action to increase access to integrated employment support and refer to the significant inequities which persist for people living with mental health and addiction issues.
A health and social system where no one is excluded
Platform’s briefing focuses on creating a health and social system where no one is excluded, calling for Parliament to address:
- physical health
- the workforce
- technology/the digital divide.
Platform reiterate the findings from the OECD report Mental Health and Work: New Zealand and state that 80% of people with lived experience of mental health and addiction issues want to work, but less than 40% are.
Increasing access to IPS employment programmes
Platform recommend increasing access to individual placement and support (IPS) employment programmes and stated that the community workforce are expert in addressing employment needs.
“Individual Placement and Support employment support programmes are a proven way of getting people who experience mental distress into work. Now is the time to make this available to more people.”
Ten priority areas
The Mental Health Foundation briefing sets out ten priority areas for action:
- applying a Te Tiriti o Waitangi and equity lens
- implementing a whole-of-government approach to wellbeing, prevention and social determinants
- developing a strategy for achieving positive mental health and wellbeing
- repealing and replacing the Mental Health Act, and starting national conversations about mental health and risk
- publishing two implementation plans to enact the national suicide prevention action plan
- continue increasing access and choice in mental health and addiction services, at pace
- keeping momentum on the co-design process for system transformation
- stepping-up workforce development and supported employment initiatives
- improving the commissioning of kaupapa Māori services
- commissioning a rapid review to identify gaps in whānau support.
Priority 8 includes supporting workforce development and increasing employment support initiatives, as recommended in He Ara Oranga: Report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction – specifically, the need to support people who experience mental distress to gain and maintain employment through integrated employment support.
“This should be provided to everyone who experiences distress and throughout employment, not just at the start.”
Platform and the Mental Health Foundation know that meaningful action across Government is needed. That is why these briefings have been sent to all incoming Parliamentarians.