The Government's Mental Health and Addiction Inquiry team will be in Northland this week for three public meetings to get views on the country's mental health services.
The six-person panel of experts - Dr Barbara Disley, Josiah Tualamali'i, Professor Ron Paterson (chairman), Dr Jemaima Tiatia-Seath, Sir Mason Durie and Dean Rangihuna - is holding meetings in Whangārei, Kaikohe and Kaitāia and is encouraging members of the public to come along and share their own views and experiences. Or just listen.
The panel has been travelling throughout the country listening to a diverse range of groups and individuals to inform their work. The purpose of these conversations is to identify unmet needs and develop recommendations for a better mental health and addiction system.
These important face to face conversations bring to life the thousands of written, verbal, email and online submissions the inquiry team received.
The panel want to hear from Māori, Pacific people, consumers, whānau, young people, NGO providers of mental health and addiction services, deaf, ethnic migrant and refugee communities, LGTBQA+, the isolated (including elderly), veterans, rural populations and those from the disabled communities.
The panel, which was set up by the Government in response to concerns over the country's mental health system, is required to report to the Minister of Health by October.
The inquiry team will be in Whangārei today, at Forum North Expo Hall, from 5pm – 6.30pm and tomorrow at Lindvart Park Sports Pavilion, Recreation Road, Kaikohe, from 11.10am – 1pm and at Dalmatian Hall, corner of South and Redan Rds, Kaitāia, from 12pm – 1.30pm.
The terms of reference are at: www.mentalhealth.inquiry.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/Summary-version-of-the-Terms-of-Reference-17-April-2018.pdf