Mental Health & Addiction Inquiry Update – Consultation Document Open for Submissions

We’re pleased to announce that the Inquiry’s consultation document is open for submissions. We encourage everyone to use this opportunity to have their say. You can complete your submission directly on our website – www.mentalhealth.inquiry.govt.nz.

We want to hear from you about what’s working well, what isn’t, what could be done better and how, and what sort of society would be best for the mental health of all our people. These questions are deliberately broad to ensure that they capture the full range of issues and solutions you may wish to share with us. We encourage groups to hold their own meetings to discuss views, and to support their members and wider networks to make group or individual submissions.

We are also interested to hear more detailed information on technical matters that we are required to make formal recommendations on, under the Inquiry Terms of Reference. A summary of the full Terms of Reference is attached. It explains the areas that we must make recommendations on. They include:

  • funding
  • governance and accountability
  • workforce planning
  • data collection
  • design and delivery of services
  • how to improve coordination between the health sector and other areas.

You can answer our questions online here – www.mentalhealth.inquiry.govt.nz/consultation-document/. If your submission is long and technical, you can upload it as a separate document through the online submission form. This will ensure everything you say is captured. Alternatively, please email your submission to mentalhealth@inquiry.govt.nz.

This submission process is a great opportunity for you to tell us how you think the wider system for mental health and addiction could be set up. We look forward to hearing your ideas for how to transform mental health and addiction in Aotearoa.

The consultation document is also available for download in a number of formats including large text, Easy Read, and five other languages (Te Reo Māori, Simplified Chinese, Tongan, Hindi, and Samoan). There is also a video version of the document with New Zealand Sign Language interpretation, audio and captions.

We encourage you to share your views in any format you want:

  • online at the address above
  • email your submission to mentalhealth@inquiry.govt.nz
  • print out the document and send it by post to:

Mental Health and Addiction Inquiry

Box 27396

Marion Square

Wellington 6141

or provide your submission over the phone by calling 0800 644 678.

Please view the consultation document for more information on how to have your say. The document, ‘Legal Information about your Submission’, provides details on how your submission will be managed and how the information you provide will be used.

To ensure we meet the Government’s deadline of October 2018 for providing recommendations, formal submissions close on 5 June. This time frame will enable all submissions to be carefully analysed, research to be undertaken and the Panel given sufficient time to deliberate on all matters raised. However, we appreciate that for some individuals and organisations this time period might be tight. We will consider requests for time extensions on a case by case basis. Please get in touch with us at mentalhealth@inquiry.govt.nz if you would like to apply for an extension for your submission.

We’re also conscious that people may have additional thoughts after attending regional meetings (see below). We’re open to receiving those as well, if people share their thoughts soon after attending a meeting. We anticipate people may continue to send us their views and submissions throughout the duration of the Inquiry and we will do our best to consider these. The best way to ensure the Panel has the time to properly hear and carefully consider your views is to provide a submission before 5 June 2018.

Regional meetings

The Inquiry panel members will be travelling around New Zealand throughout May and June for a series of regional meetings to talk to people about mental health and addiction in New Zealand. Everyone is welcome at the community ‘Meet the Panel’ sessions. We encourage you to share the event details with your networks. These sessions will have a focus on solutions and ideas for improvement.

The dates for the regional visits are available here –
www.mentalhealth.inquiry.govt.nz/contact-us/opportunities-to-connect/. Please check when the ‘Meet the Panel’ session is held in your region.

If you or your organisation would like to be involved in a more formal meeting with the Panel during the day, please contact us at mentalhealth@inquiry.govt.nz to request a meeting. We will do our best, but due to our time constraints we cannot guarantee the Panel’s availability. The ‘Meet the Panel’ sessions are the easiest way to engage directly with the Panel.

Other ways to connect

We ask everyone with an interest in the Inquiry, to complete the Expression of Interest (EOI) – www.mentalhealth.inquiry.govt.nz/contact-us/expressions-of-interest/. The form asks how you would like to engage with us. We want to be sure we provide all interested people and groups the opportunity to contribute.

We will be posting updates from the Panel members on Facebook (www.facebook.com/MentalHealthInquiryNZ/) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/MHInquiryNZ) so you can also follow the Inquiry’s journey there.

We look forward to hearing about what is happening on the ground through submissions and as we travel the country.

Ma te mahi tahi hei oranga mō tātou

Ron Paterson

Inquiry Chair