Mental health gets $190 million pre-Budget boost

Source: 1News

In a pre-Budget funding boost the Government is putting $190 million towards specialist mental health services.

File picture.

$100 million is being invested in a specialist mental health and addiction package, while another $90m will go to expanding mental health support for children, Health Minister Andrew Little announced on Tuesday.

The $100m funding boost is spread across four years, with $27m going to community-based crisis services, $18.7m to existing specialist child and adolescent mental health and addiction services and $10m for specialist workforce development.

Earlier today, Mana Ake got a $90m increase to expand mental health support for children and teens across the country.

"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," Little said.

"It also provides advice, guidance and workshops for parents, whānau and teachers."

The $90m will start up Mana Ake in Northland, Counties Manukau, Bay of Plenty, Lakes and West Coast regions.

It is already up and running in Canterbury and Kaikōura.

The Government has received criticism over its mental health support roll out.

Mental Health Foundation CEO Shaun Robinson earlier this year said that while some traction was being made since Budget 2019 - which included the $1.9 billion package for mental wellbeing to be spent over the following years - change wasn't happening quickly enough.

He said while the figure "sounds like a lot of money", it only covered about half of what was needed to catch up to years of under funding.