The Ministry of Health has released Kia Kaha, Kia Māia, Kia Ora Aotearoa: Psychosocial and Mental Wellbeing Recovery Plan.

Kia Kaha, Kia Māia, Kia Ora Aotearoa: Psychosocial and Mental Wellbeing Recovery PlanThe plan sets out the principles and a framework for meeting the mental and social wellbeing needs of people, whānau and communities as New Zealand responds and recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

It seeks to prevent an increase in mental distress and enhance the lives of people who are living with significant levels of mental distress, substance use or gambling harm.

The plan clearly sets out the importance of integrating mental health, addiction and employment support and the commitment to partnering across government agencies.

The Ministry of Health is partnering with the Ministry of Social Development to support employment opportunities for people with lived experience of mental distress or substance harm.

“I am pleased to see the plan acknowledge the protective role of employment in preventing mental distress and in supporting recovery and wellbeing when living with mental health and addiction issues,” said Work Counts strategic advisor Dr Helen Lockett.

“The plan recognises the additional and compounding hardship due to job loss and the likely impacts of unemployment on increasing mental health and addiction issues and how these effects will disproportionately affect some people more than others – particularly Māori, Pacific, people with disabilities and young people who experience mental health and addiction issues.”

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