Taking mental health seriously

We believe that all New Zealanders should be able to access support when and where they need it. That’s why we’re laying the foundation for a whole new mental health system.

It’s a big job, but there’s already been huge change and it’s making a real difference for thousands of New Zealanders.

First up, we made it easier for people to get help early, so small issues don't become big problems.

We’re putting mental health workers into places where people already get support for their healthcare needs, like GP clinics, kaupapa Māori, Pacific, and youth specific services.

More than 500,000 sessions have been delivered since the programme began in 2019, and we’re still expanding.

2.7 million Kiwis will have access to this mental health care through GPs by the end of this year.

We're making sure Kiwis kids know it's OK to ask for help, and that help is there when they need it.

10,500 children have been supported through Mana Ake, and this mental health programme is now set to benefit 195,000 kids around the country.

More counsellors will be in large secondary schools, and around 24,000 kids in smaller schools will have access to counsellors.

We’ve also boosted mental health support for university students. Around 80,000 university students have had access to more wellbeing and mental health support, including talking therapies and addiction help.

We’ve put more mental health and wellbeing support online, on the phone and through smart apps, so people can easily access help when they need it. People can now access support at any time, thanks to our investment in online self-help tools and telehealth services.

We’re addressing the existing workforce challenges by rolling out a plan to make sure that mental health professionals are there, and ready to help when they’re needed. For example, more than 900 additional full time professionals are now working to support mental wellbeing in the community.

We’re the first Government to provide targeted mental health support right across the country to support Rainbow young people. RainbowYOUTH can extend its peer support service nationwide, and InsideOUT can expand its support service to 300 schools.

The next step is fixing mental health services for those people who have the highest needs.

We’re fixing our mental health infrastructure – we have a plan to build new acute mental health and addiction facilities around the country, as well as upgrading existing ones to ensure they’re fit for purpose. For example, we’re planning to build new acute mental health facilities in Tauranga, Hutt Valley and more, through our New Zealand Upgrade Programme.

We’re making sure more New Zealanders have access to acute mental health services, so help is there for people who have the highest needs.

Better crisis services for Kiwis, through boosts for community crisis teams, co-response teams, and more.

1,300 young people will benefit from strengthened acute services with more clinical, peer support and cultural support staff.

We’re the first Government to ever take mental health seriously, and after years of inaction by previous Governments, we know that things can’t be fixed overnight. But, our work to build a whole new mental health system is underway and New Zealand is finally getting closer to a system that people can rely on.

👉 If you need help or support, you can call or text 1737 for free, 24 hours a day, to speak to a trained counsellor. You can also find plenty of resources to support your mental health and wellbeing here.