Extra mental health support for at risk groups

May 15, 2020 at 3:33 PM

From Beehive.govt.nz


Organisations supporting vulnerable groups have received a boost to provide additional mental health and wellbeing support with Health Minister David Clark today announcing $3.5 million in funding.

“In addition to the mental health and wellbeing support tools we launched recently for all Kiwis, extra support is being given to people who are vulnerable or more at risk. That boost has already made a significant difference,” David Clark said.

Support has been provided in a variety of ways including targeted information campaigns, online peer support, resources and help with staying connected.

One of the initiatives is the NZ Drug Foundation’s #bestbubble campaign which has reached hundreds of thousands of people with information on coping with life in their bubble, and dealing with the impacts of alcohol and drug use.

“I’ve been told that a lot of people are dealing with either unplanned withdrawal or they have chosen this period to give up drinking or drugs. The NZ Drug Foundation has been providing really important information to these people on how to manage what they are experiencing in a safe way.

“Additional support has been in place for people living with mental health or addiction issues, and whānau supporting them, by providing funding for online support for groups, webinars and multilingual services.

Changing Minds, an organisation that supports people living with mental health conditions, have launched wellbeing sessions via video conferencing.

“Over 100 people have attended these online sessions in the past couple of week and I’ve heard they’ve enjoyed a different way of engaging with others.

“Funding has also gone towards boosting support for deaf, Rainbow and Asian communities who can feel particularly isolated and are less likely to reach out for help.

“The funding for the Rainbow support service, OUTLine, has meant they were able to transform their peer support phone service to a remote operation and promote it more widely. I understand the service has seen an increase in first-time and younger callers under 25 during this time. The funding has also meant that the specialist counselling service has been more accessible to people who have felt the pressure of the lockdown restrictions through social isolation and unemployment.

The Health Promotion Agency has also launched mental wellbeing information campaigns and resources targeted specifically for Māori, Pacific peoples, people with underlying health conditions, older New Zealanders, pregnant women and new mothers.

“In addition, the Cancer Society has received funding to help them reach out to people with compromised immunity.

“These initiatives build on those announced over the past few weeks, providing information, tools and resources to help all New Zealanders maintain their mental wellbeing during these difficult times,” David Clark said.

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Category: Government