Funding secured for early movers and shakers in mental healthcare


Funding secured for early movers and shakers in mental healthcare

Jacinda Ardern Mental Health Launch
Prime minister Jacinda Ardern and health minister David Clark visit the Local Doctors Dawson clinic and meet wellness advisors, health coaches and clinic staff
“It was good to have vindication of the work going on. It was good to be recognised at prime ministerial level” PHOs that introduced new kinds of


One of the Christchurch practices selected for added mental health support was close to a mosque where shootings took place in March. “We wanted to put some mental health input there,” Pegasus Health PHO chief executive Vince Barry says of his organisation’s work with the Te Tumu Waiora model of care.
The other practice chosen was enthusiastic about trying new approaches, Mr Barry says.
Commenting this morning but inadvertently omitted from the article above, he said a third Pegasus practice has a health improvement practitioner and a fourth undertook training.
The latter two are not eligible for the new funding.
Mr Barry says knowing the funding is there enables the PHO to plan, for example, growth of its mental health workforce. Filling the new roles with existing primary mental health counsellors would create a need to “backfill” those positions, he points out. 

The new funding for mental health services in primary care is ongoing, says the ministry's acting deputy director-General,  mental health and addiction, Richard Taylor. The $6 million of initial funding is to sustain existing pilot programmes while the wider planning and procurement processes take place, Mr Taylor says in a statement this morning, responding to New Zealand Doctor's questions.
The statement says the ministry can't provide a breakdown of the funding across regions because it is commercially sensitive under the Official Information Act. If released the information would provide detail about contract values for the types of  services requested in the upcoming request for proposals (RFP).   
The RFP will seek proposals to begin the phased rollout of this model for integrated primary mental health and addiction services accessed through general practice. 
The ministry will seek collaborative proposals from PHOs, NGOs and DHBs for a defined geographic area, Mr Taylor says.
The RFP will be open to areas where there are existing pilot sites and to new areas, he says.