Access to mental health & addiction servicesHealth
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says people are getting access to the mental health and addiction services they need.
“It’s important that people can access the mental health and addiction services they need within an appropriate timeframe,” says Dr Coleman.
“Mental health and addiction services across the country are responding to increased demand; a 21 per cent increase over the last five years.
“It’s encouraging to see that youth access to these services has improved, and adult access rates have remained steady despite increasing demand.”
Figures from the Ministry of Health show that in 2015, around 44,500 young people (aged 19 years and under) sought help. Seventy per cent were seen within three weeks, and 91 per cent were seen within eight weeks.
In 2011/12, around 39,900 young people sought help and only 60 per cent were seen within three weeks. Concern over these results prompted the faster access target of 80 per cent to be set in 2011.
In 2015, over 102,000 adults presented to mental health and addiction services. Eighty-four per cent were seen within three weeks, and 95 per cent were seen within eight weeks. This compares to 90,800 adults in 2011/12, with 84 per cent seen within three weeks and 95 per cent within eight weeks.
“The increase in demand can be attributed in part to improved reporting by NGOs and more encouragement for people to seek help, as well as normal population growth,” says Dr Coleman.
“These access rates are a tribute to the hard work of staff delivering mental health and addiction services. However, we can’t be complacent, we need to maintain momentum.”
The Government has increased mental health and addiction services funding from $1.1 billion in 2008/09 to over $1.4 billion for 2015/16.