12 Sep 2019

Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission details revealed

2:30 pm on 12 September 2019

Details on the government's initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission have been announced.

Minister of Health David Clark.

Minister of Health, Dr David Clark. Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

The commission will lay the groundwork for a permanent body, which is due to start work in February 2021.

It will provide independent scrutiny of progress in improving mental health and wellbeing, and promote collaboration among mental health groups.

It will also develop advice for the permanent commission, including a work programme, outcomes and monitoring framework.

The Prime Minister said it would report back directly to the Minister of Health within one year.

The Mental Health and Well-being Commission will take over from the Mental Health Commission that was disbanded by the National government in 2012.

Jacinda Ardern said the Mental Health Commission was held in high regard and did a good job of providing leadership and accelerating progress across the mental health sector.

The government was taking mental health seriously and it expected the new commission to hold the government and future governments to account, she said.

The initial commission will be headed by Hayden Wano, who has 40 years of experience in the health sector.

Minister of Health, Dr David Clark, said Mr Wano was widely respected and ideally suited to the role.

He will be joined by four others; business person Kendall Flutel, Forest and Bird chief executive and former Green MP Kevin Hague, mental health advocate Kelly Pope and clinical psychologist Julie Wharewera-Mika.

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