Government launches mental health nursing recruitment drive

The Government has marked another step in its commitment to improve New Zealanders’ mental wellbeing by launching a recruitment campaign targetting the next generation of mental health nurses.

This year the Government has funded 234 new-entry places for registered nurses to specialise in mental health. It is hoped this campaign could help double that number.

“This Government is the first to take action to address the longstanding under-investment in mental health and the mental health and addiction workforce - the ‘You’re Ready’ campaign is one of many ways we are doing that,” Health Minister Andrew Little said.

“It aims to encourage more nursing graduates into mental health and addiction roles, increase the number of Māori and Pacific people working in this area, and bring former nurses back into the profession.

“The two-year campaign features real nurses who work in mental health and addiction who help people through some of their toughest times.

“These mental health professionals want to encourage others to take up these rewarding roles and to do the same.

“The mental health and addiction workforce do an incredible job and we know the pressure on them is increasing. The awareness of mental wellbeing issues has grown and so too has the demand for specialist services.

“We know nurses make up the largest proportion of this critical workforce and with all the new supports we are rolling out, like the Access and Choice programme, there are many more opportunities.

“This campaign highlights how rewarding a career in mental health nursing can be, while challenging perceptions of mental health – something that can affect anyone at any time,” Andrew Little said.

This initiative is funded from the $77 million workforce development fund, part of the 2019 wellbeing budget. The ‘You’re Ready’ campaign goes live March 27 and is a multi-platform campaign.

This is part of the Government’s broader nursing recruitment drive which includes international, general and return to work nursing campaigns.