Counsellors to play role in potential cross-party group

Published: Wed 18 Jul 2018 01:40 PM
Counsellors to play vital role in potential cross-party mental health group
New Zealanders’ mental health is one of the biggest challenges of our generation, and the Counsellors Association is welcoming an invite to help tackle the issue with a cross-party working group.
Following recent talks with National Party spokesperson for Mental Health, Matt Doocey, the NZ Association of Counsellors (NZAC) will help improve mental health outcomes for New Zealanders.
They will join a group comprising all political parties and the mental health sector.
NZAC president Bev Weber says this is an important step that will see informed policy tackle the shared goals of all stakeholders and the public beyond a parliamentary three-year term.
“For far too long, New Zealanders have been calling out for help, and their pleas continue to go unanswered,” Ms Weber says.
“Wellbeing issues affect every single person, so we commend Mr Doocey’s compassionate endeavour to bring all sides of the Parliamentary house together to support such a worthy cause.”
Ms Weber says Mr Doocey’s idea drew inspiration from Shaun McNeil, a founding member of the Scottish Parliament’s Cross-Party Group on Mental Health.
The development of the mental health group has allowed the voices of consumers, NGOs and health experts to be included in a Scottish review, planning and implementation of mental health and addictions work, leading to considerable progress towards effective and sustainable mental health services and approaches.
“We are grateful to Mr Doocey for his invitation to the Association to bring its expertise to this potential working group, as we have always advocated for positive mental health change,” Ms Weber says.

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