REFORM OF MENTAL HEALTH CARE IN AOTEAROA-NEW ZEALAND: DISCUSSION DOCUMENT

Greetings from Masterton!

New Zealand residents will know that a government Inquiry into Mental Health & Addictions is operating at present (as of June 11th 2018), and will produce its report by October. The short time-frame for its work is no doubt determined by the urgency of some of the problems in this sector; but my guess is that one of its outcomes will be to set up a system for further analysis, research and policy development, arising from the numerous submissions already received by the Inquiry team. If this view is correct, the Inquiry itself is but the start of process of fundamental reform of the mental health and addictions sector.

With this in mind I have prepared the discussion document, posted now, covering some of the many issues of relevance to the Inquiry. I say ‘some of the many issues’; and you may know important matters which I have not addressed. (One such is the whole field of addictions, on which I have made only a few comments.) The document has already been sent to the Inquiry panel, and will also be mailed to around 250 of my contacts, who may be interested in its contents.

This paper is a statement of my own views. There is, of course a wide diversity of other views to be heard. It is shared with you to elicit further discussion. I would be very pleased to receive any comments, critique or amplification of matters dealt with in my essay, as well as topics I have not covered, but which fall under the remit of the inquiry. The OCTSPAN website does allow comments to be posted. Alternatively, you could send your comments to my e-mail address (octspan.robertmiller@gmail.com), and I would then add them to the website document. I may need to edit some comments received before they become public, as explained in the document. I am happy to receive respectful criticism as well as other comments.

The Inquiry panel appears willing to hear a wide range of views. Therefore, some months hence, if a suitable opportunity arises, it is my intention to pass on comments received to the panel, or whatever structure emerges after its report appears in October.

I will be traveling overseas in a few days time. While I am away, I hope to be able to acknowledge comments received, but there may be some delay before I am able to respond more fully. I look forward to receiving your comments.

REFORM OF MENTAL HEALTH CARE IN AOTEAROA-draft 3