Manawatū to present submission on Mental Health Inquiry

More than thirty government and non-government organisations from across the Manawatū region are preparing to deliver what will be the first district submission for the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction.

A study published in the New Zealand Medical Journal last year found that Māori and Pacific people have some of the highest rates of mental distress but the lowest rates of diagnosis, highlighting gaps in the Mental Health sector.

Among those presenting submissions to the panel at Palmerston North’s Barber Hall tomorrow is Te Tihi o Ruahine and Central PHO Clinical Psychologist, Luke Rowe.

A descendant of Ngāti Tuwharetoa and Ngāti Raukawa, Rowe told Māori TV that gaps in the system have prompted his organisation to implement programmes with a holistic family approach, such as Whānau Ora, Kāinga Whānau Ora and the Tāne Ora Alliance.

He says a key focus for his presentation to the inquiry panel will be about creating a “paradigm shift” where mental health services across the board are designed to target families rather than individuals.

Prominent Palmerston North-based Māori health expert Sir Mason Durie is part of the inquiry panel and submissions will be heard from 9 am-2 pm.