Welcome to the Balance Aotearoa Website
Feedback for Guidelines for the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992
Changing Minds, Balance Aotearoa and Platform Trust are seeking your feedback on the Ministry of Health’s consultation on amendments to the Guidelines for the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992 (the Act). https://consult.health.govt.nz/mental-health/draft-revisions-to-the-guidelines-to-the-mental-he/
Balance Aotearoa has been working on revision of the Guidelines with the Director of Mental Health since 2015. Changing Minds and Platform Trust wish to support Balance Aotearoa and ensure our collective voices shape the new iteration. (The Ministry has indicated that it would like to see group or joint submissions, though you may also wish to provide an individual submission.)
We would like your feedback on our draft submission. To download the draft submission please click the following links:
We are aware that there have been many calls recently to provide your advice and insights, and that this is a busy time of year for everyone. As always, we are grateful for the gift of your voice in this submission and for any time you have to share your views with us.
Once submitted, the final submission document will be published on the Balance Aotearoa, Changing Minds, and Platform Trust websites.
Balance Aotearoa, Changing Minds, and Platform Trust
Feedback on "He Ara Oranga" ( The Mental Health & Addictions Inquiry Report) and priorities for the transformation from people with lived experience and whanau
Balance Aotearoa and the Wellbeing Coalition Aotearoa were contracted by the Ministry of Health to gather feedback from people with lived experience of mental distress and addiction and whanau on the Report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction. Around 100 people responded to questions via an online feedback and voting platform (Mentimeter) and a group of 26 leaders lived experience and whanau leader met to discuss the report on Feb 13th 2019.
Overall support for the report but there are gaps and shortcomings
Overall, people responded to the report with feelings of ‘hope’ and ‘optimism’. They believe the report presents an unprecedented opportunity for whole of system transformation.
But they also expressed concerns that some of the key messages in the report were not reflected in the recommendations and that some of the ‘big issues’ that matter to them were not emphasised enough.
The 16 big issues that need more attention
In the transformation process they want to see more emphasis and priority given to the sixteen big issues:
- Ending forced treatment rather than just ‘minimising’ it.
- Developing advocacy and better processes to ensure system accountability.
- Ending the health-led system and moving towards cross-sector a community led funding and delivery.
- Developing community-based replacements to acute inpatient services.
- Defining and providing easy access to broad range of responses.
- Giving priority to developing peer support.
- Funding and equipping whanau and communities, not just services.
- Honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi with tangible actions to develop Maori for Maori solutions and equitable outcomes.
- Developing and funding lived experience and whanau roles and a national lead agency.
- Ensuring people who use services have decision-making power with the involvement of trusted whanau.
- Focusing efforts on children and young people.
- Preventing and responding to adverse childhood events (ACEs).
- Stopping inequities and discrimination.
- Creating a zero-suicide target.
- Ensuring people with lived experience lead the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission.
- Developing a full co-production process for the transformation, not just co-design.
The full report
Download the full 10-page report to the Ministry of Health and the Minister of Health here:
The Mental Health and Addiction Inquiry panel received over 5,000 submissions, and Panel members attended over 300 meetings with individuals, community groups and stakeholders around the country. They’ve heard from many people about their experiences of mental health and addiction. This includes individuals’ personal experiences (directly or as family/whanau), what’s working well and what isn’t, and the experiences of providers, clinicians and advocates.
The Mental Health and Addiction Inquiry pane honoured our contributions by developing a report called He Ara Oranga that is hoped will lead to significant improvements in mental health and addiction in New Zealand and create hope for the future. The Inquiry was a once in a generation opportunity to make real change. We are seizing that opportunity.
Balance Aotearoa had it's turn with a 90 minute forum in Whanganui during this time. And this was our written submission with an appendix that we took to the Panel about, as well as hosting Whanganui Tangata Whaiora to have their say.
Balance NZ and Balance Whanganui merged to become Balance Aotearoa in July 2016. We took this decision to ensure the ongoing sustainability of our respective organisations so that we can continue to contribute to the mental health and addictions sector as a peer-led organisation.
All the things that Balance NZ currently does remains in place i.e. peer led workshops, the online forums and our participation as a Disabled Person’s Organisation.
As a merged organisation we need to renew our membership connection with you. We invite new and existing members to sign up here. This means you will need to apply to become a member of Balance Aotearoa should you wish to.
Thank you for your ongoing support.