Inquiry into Addiction Services…

DESPITE ALL THE HATERS sending emails like “cannot you believe you moan about addiction services, they work well and moaners like you should be shot” there are many many more people like me out there. Even more so disillusioned.

Work done for “Perspectives” (research and graphic display) with a very highly respected and qualified researcher for Otago Univershity convinced me that the problem was even worse than I first diagnosed. Recovery Perspectives Titlerecovery perspectives excer

You see – rightly or wrongly people feel they should not speak out. Some fear the licenses for driving will be revoked (in truth, this has been known to happen for crazy reasons…), others don’t even enrol to vote for reasons known best to themselves.

But all share something in common – the services and help they require could be improved by them coming forward, voting and putting their names behind a change.

Here is a letter I received tonight from an extremely well-respected lady, whom used to work in an office next to my girlfriend who worked in the mental health sector and first encouraged me to write the worlds shittiest blog.

Please read. Please support. Please have your say.

—————————————————-

You’re receiving this message from former Mental Health Commissioner Mary O’Hagan because you have taken action in the past on campaigns for a better mental health system.
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Dear Mr Fiendipoobum,

In today’s Budget announcement Finance Minister Grant Robertson has promised future funding for mental health will depend on the outcome of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction.

All of us want to know there will be support available for us, our loved ones, friends and whānau, when we experience mental distress or addiction.

The Government Inquiry gives us the biggest opportunity I’ve seen in my lifetime to change the system so that no-one is turned away and everyone get more than medication.

SIGN FOR A SYSTEM CHANGE

A lot of people can’t get help when they need it. Every week I hear stories of desperate people who can’t get access into services, with mental health care facilities at capacity and not enough staff.

I used mental health services for several years as a young woman. At the time, all I got was a ‘pills and pillows’ service and grim predictions from professionals for my future.

Their predictions were all wrong; for the last 30 years I have advocated for change in mental health at the local, national and international levels, including as a commissioner at the Mental Health Commission which had oversight of the mental health system.

The People’s Mental Health Report showed the system is not working. People get too many pills, too much coercion, and not enough support to get work, housing, talking therapies, community connections, self-belief and hope for their future.

There is a groundswell of support for fundamental change in mental health and addiction and the government has said of the Inquiry that ‘nothing is off the table’.

That’s why I’ve partnered with ActionStation in asking for a system change in the way mental health is treated and talked about in New Zealand.

Sign the open submission to the Mental Health Inquiry: Open access to a full menu of services

We at PeerZone are a social enterprise run by and for people with mental distress where we develop and deliver resources and supports for our peers who have mental distress. We believe with social justice and the right kind of support all people with experience of mental distress can lead great lives.

The PeerZone team and many of our supporters have created The Wellbeing Manifesto for Aotearoa New Zealand; it starts where the People’s Mental Health Report left off, with wide-ranging and long-term recommendations, based on our lived experience. It is our submission to the Government Inquiry and I invite you to sign and support it too.

The Submission calls for all the sectors that have responsibility for wellbeing, distress and addiction — such as health, social development, justice, corrections and education — to jointly fund a full menu of services at the local level, in partnership with people affected by distress and addiction.

This menu includes:

→ personal and whānau support;
→ income, work and housing support;
→ talking therapies and treatments;
→ spiritual healing;
→ and crisis responses.

The services need to be co-delivered and working together as much as possible, in such settings as primary health facilities, marae, community centres and large workplaces.

At the same time, the workforce needs to undergo a transformation so that cultural workers and peer workers (those who have lived experience of distress and addiction) work alongside the traditional workforce with equal status and in equal numbers.

Your voice will add power to our submission for these ambitious goals. Will you sign onto our Submission to the Inquiry?

ADD YOUR NAME

Thanks for all you do,

Mary O’Hagan 
Director of PeerZone

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