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Govt appoints Initial Mental Health & Wellbeing Commission

By Gurbir Singh:

New Zealanders needing immediate and effective mental health support is now just a click away with the launch of the free online tool, Just a Thought.

The Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden and the Minister of Health, David Clark  were present today in Hamilton at the launch of this therapy tool, Just a Thought.

Developed and funded by the Wise Group, Just a Thought, offers free online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) courses to support the growing number of people across the country experiencing anxiety and depression.

C. David (centre) & A.Elder(R) for Just a Thought prog. explain working of the tool to PM & Health Minister (Pic: NewsViews)

Just a Thought is going to change lives” thinks Prime Minister Arden, as this free therapy tool is expected to help those who are unable to access immediate psychological support to assist with mental health.

Prime Minister extended thanks to the Wise Group for making CBT freely available to the nation, also expressing her appreciation to the Salmond family for their generosity. George had, she said, left a legacy embedded in the tool that will help thousands of New Zealanders, “and that’s a wonderful thing”.

With an estimated one in five New Zealanders experience significant mental health difficulties and demand growing for services and support, New Zealand’s mental health system is under extreme pressure.

In a lighter moment, PM Jacinda Arden (Pic: NewsViews)

CBT teaches people how to improve their mental health through learning how to interact differently with thoughts and identify behaviours that enhance wellbeing.

Experienced CBT practitioner and clinical lead for Just a Thought, Anna Elders said people are having to wait, in some cases, up to six months for professional help.

The help itself can be difficult to access because of the costs involved, which is why the Wise Group has funded and launched Just a Thought.

Meanwhile, the government also today announced details of the Initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission, and appointment of Hayden Wano as its Chair.

Health Minister
Health Minister, David Clark making the announcement

“The initial commission will track our progress on the range of actions we’re taking to tackle the long-term challenge of improving mental healthcare across New Zealand,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“It will report back directly to the Minister of Health within one year,” she added.

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While announcing the name of Hayden Wano, who is also a member of Wise Trust Board, the Health Minister David Clark said, “A key focus for Wano and the initial commission will be looking at the wider range of factors that contribute to people’s overall mental wellbeing.

“That includes looking across social welfare, housing, education and justice as well as talking to those with experience of mental health and addiction,” the Minister said.

Wise Group, one of New Zealand’s largest non-government providers of mental health and well being services, is committed to making Just a Thought available for free to all New Zealanders aged 16+ years.

Those wanting to know more or view the courses, can visit: justathought.co.nz


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