New fund for mental health services set to open

The first round of the government’s $10 million Mental Health and Addiction Community Sector Innovation Fund is set to open for applications later this month, Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey says.  

“The Fund will support new and innovative initiatives that are focussed on increasing access to better mental health support, a top priority for me as New Zealand’s first Mental Health Minister.  

“Government does not have all the solutions when it comes to addressing mental health issues. 

“That’s why we have previously announced funding for Gumboot Friday of $24 million over four years to provide young people aged between 5 and 25 years with free mental health counselling services.  

“I’m firmly of the view that the answers to the issues we have in mental health are already in the sector but just need the opportunity to be backed. I’ve listened to the innovative ideas and the people behind those ideas and this has resulted in the development of this Fund,” Mr Doocey says. 

Successful proposals will need to demonstrate that they can address the following key priorities: 

  • Increases access to mental health and addiction support  
  • Protects public specialist mental health and addiction services by reducing demand 
  • Develops capacity in the mental health and addiction workforce 
  • Uses technology to drive productivity 
  • Delivers scalable solutions for unmet need 
  • Returns positive social return on investment (with evidence) 
  • Achieves positive outcomes for target population groups that have evidence of poorer mental health outcomes than other groups 
  • Will be co-funded on a dollar-for-dollar matched funding basis  

The Fund will support the government’s priority focus on increasing access to mental health and addiction support, growing the mental health and addiction workforce, strengthening the focus on prevention and early intervention, and improving the effectiveness of mental health and addiction support.  

The Fund will be open to all NGOs and community mental health and addiction providers, including iwi-based and other Kaupapa Māori providers.  

The full submission criteria, and a Request for Proposal (RFP) process will be published on the Government Electronic Tender Service (GETS) website by the end of July, with contracts for round one expected to be in place later this year.   

Depending on the amount of funding allocated through the initial round in July, a second funding round may be announced later this year.