The government is setting aside $90 million to expand a mental health service in Northland, Counties Manukau, Bay of Plenty, Lakes and West Coast regions.
The money will also be used to continue Mana Ake services in Canterbury and Kaikōura.
The announcement is being made ahead of Budget 2022, which is due to be officially delivered on Thursday, May 19.
In a statement released today, Health Minister Andrew Little says Mana Ake is a school-based programme that gives children the skills and support to deal with issues that include grief, loss, parental separation, and bullying.
He says it also provides advice, guidance and workshops for parents, whānau and teachers.
“We know that early intervention is one of the best ways we encourage better mental wellbeing for young New Zealanders and through their lives. Mana Ake empowers children with resilience and support, when and where they need it, to confidently cope with whatever life throws at them.
“Expanding Mana Ake is one way we will help strengthen New Zealand’s economic security for generations to come.”
“Following the Christchurch and Kaikōura earthquakes, Associate Education Minister and Tauranga Labour list MP Jan Tinetti says the feedback from parents and the education sector is this programme makes a real difference in the lives of many young people.
“One of the real strengths of Mana Ake is it’s co-designed by the local community it’s tailored to. That means important considerations such as cultural competencies are observed, and children get support in a way that is meaningful to them.”
Associate Education Minister and Tauranga Labour list MP Jan Tinetti.
Youth mental health is part of the Cooperation Agreement between Labour and the Greens.
“Everybody should have access to mental health support when they need it. The expansion of Mana Ake is an important and necessary step to ensuring fewer young people not only no longer fall through the gaps, but develop understanding of their own and other’s mental health,” says Green Party mental health spokesperson Chlöe Swarbrick.
“Local co-design for each of the new Mana Ake areas is well underway, and we expect to see the first areas commence service delivery later this year,” says Little.
Read more about Mana Ake here.