Become a Member

 

The Young Nats support the 

Establishment of a mental health first aid training fund

Caring communities providing support to their own.

 

ISSUE

While most New Zealanders are comfortable openly discussing physical health, the stigma of talking about our mental health remains. This creates a significant barrier for everyday New Zealanders in identifying and supporting the one in five people who face mental health challenges throughout their lifetime.

Organisations such as St. Johns have been offering mental health first aid training programmes in New Zealand since early 2018, which have been developed in line with local and international best practice. Studies have shown that these programmes empower participants to identify and provide early intervention support to their peers who may be suffering from various mental health challenges.  However, the high cost of participating in these courses and the limited resource capability of providers are significant barriers to uptake.


PROPOSAL

The Young Nats propose the establishment of a contestable fund to assist those seeking to undertake mental health first aid training programmes in New Zealand. Businesses, community groups and individuals will be able to apply for funding to enable their staff or volunteers to attend an approved mental health first aid course. These qualified “mental health first aiders” are not intended to replace mental health professionals, but rather will provide early intervention care, support and triage to those in their community who may be suffering mild-moderate mental health challenges.


IMPACT

Having more local, mental health first aiders will empower and promote caring communities to help their own, while helping to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health in New Zealand. Mental health first aiders will be able to provide much needed assistance and guidance to the “missing middle” (i.e. those with mild-moderate mental health needs which aren’t severe enough to access immediate treatment), as well as more support for those in our rural communities.

 

Read this policy in more detail here.

 

OFFICIAL POLICY OF THE NZ YOUNG NATS. NOT NATIONAL PARTY POLICY.



The Young Nats support the

Establishment of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission

Ensuring equitable access to a world class mental health system. 


ISSUE

Mental health is one of the most significant issues facing young people today.
New Zealand’s mental health system is currently failing to provide adequate care and support not only for young people, but for most of the population.

There are a number of reasons why this is the case including:

  • A significantly large number of mental health service providers resulting in ad hoc, duplicate services;
  • A significant lack of research and professional knowledge of mental health compared with physical health;
  • A lack of accountability mechanisms in place to ensure sufficient funding and policy implementation in mental health.

PROPOSAL

The Young Nats support the establishment of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission, as per the Government’s announcement in response  to the Report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction (He Ara Oranga) 2018.


IMPACT

We recognise that Commissions have limited statutory power to drive change. However, independent and expert advisory and advocacy bodies play a key role in the public arena (see, for example, the work of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment and the Children’s Commissioner). A new, independent Commission will be the most effective mechanism to unify and give confidence to the numerous array of government and non-government mental health service providers that currently exist.

Although not included in the He Ara Oranga Report, we also propose that the Commission be responsible for reporting against an ambitious accessibility target to ensure every element of the government’s work plan is framed by an overarching goal to improve accessibility to mental health services.

 

Read this policy in more detail here.

 

OFFICIAL POLICY OF THE NZ YOUNG NATS. NOT NATIONAL PARTY POLICY.