13 December 2019

Health research advocate New Zealanders for Health Research (NZHR) says the government’s proposed Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is set to be starved of the resources it needs to be effective.

NZHR Chief Executive, Chris Higgins, said listed objectives of the Commission require it to be an agent for fruitful outcomes that will produce beneficial policy for mental health and addictions, practice and service delivery.

“The government’s current level of investment in mental health research stands at an inadequate 0.5% of mental health care service delivery costs. Their investment in mental health and addictions research should be at least 2.4% of the costs of service provision” said Mr Higgins.

“The current level of investment is about 20% of what it should be and if this doesn’t change the Commission will be hamstrung in its ability to be an effective agent to bring about much needed improvement to both the delivery of mental health and addictions services and kiwis’ mental health and wellbeing.”

Mr Higgins said that NZHR supports the establishment of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission and wants it to be successful in implementing the recommendations of He Ara Oranga: Report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction.

“The recommendations in this report were not in fact supported by any research based evidence, because the research simply doesn’t exist” said Higgins.

“This underscores the need for the Commission to be resourced so that it can develop an evidence base for its work, and NZHR has made this the central point of its submission to Parliament’s Health Committee”

For a copy of NZHR’s submission on the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill click here and for further information contact NZHR chief executive Chris Higgins on 027 2928433 or [email protected].

NZHR advocates for increased investment in health research. It is an alliance chaired by Graham Malaghan, of the Wellington-based Malaghan Institute of Medical Research and supported by universities, clinical research organisations, and organisations representing both the philanthropic and pharmaceutical industry sectors. For more information visit https://www.nz4healthresearch.org.nz/