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Lived experience & whānau response to mental health and addiction inquiry

Balance Aotearoa and the Wellbeing Coalition Aotearoa were contracted by the Ministry of Health to gather feedback from people with lived experience of mental distress and addiction and whānau on the Report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction. Around 100 people responded to questions via an online feedback and voting platform and a group of 28 leaders lived experience and whanau leaders recently met to discuss the report.

Overall support for the report but it has gaps and shortcomings

Overall, people responded to the report with feelings of ‘hope’ and ‘optimism’. They believe the report presents an opportunity for whole of system transformation.

But they also expressed concerns that some of the key messages in the report were not reflected in the recommendations and that some of the ‘big issues’ that matter to people with lived experience and whānau were not emphasised enough.

The 16 big issues that need more attention

In the transformation process people with lived experience and whānau want to see more emphasis and priority given to the sixteen big issues:

  • Ending forced treatment rather than just ‘minimising’ it.
  • Developing advocacy and better processes to ensure system accountability.
  • Ending the health-led system and moving towards cross-sector and community led funding and delivery.
  • Developing community-based replacements to acute inpatient services.
  • Defining and providing easy access to a broad range of responses.
  • Giving priority to developing peer support.
  • Funding and equipping whanau and communities, not just services.
  • Honouring Ti Tiriti o Waitangi with tangible actions to develop Māori for Māori solutions and equitable outcomes.
  • Developing and funding lived experience and whanau roles and a national lead agency.
  • Ensuring people who use services have decision-making power with the involvement of trusted whānau.
  • Focusing efforts on children and young people.
  • Preventing and responding to adverse childhood events (ACEs).
  • Stopping inequities and discrimination.
  • Creating a zero-suicide target.
  • Ensuring people with lived experience lead the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission.
  • Developing a full co-production process for the transformation, not just co-design.

The full report

Download the full 10-page report to the Ministry of Health and the Minister of Health here

Full report
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