Youth accessing primary mental health services

Jonathan Coleman

18 MARCH 2015

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says more mental health services are being offered to young people through their GP or primary care provider.

“We know the importance of making mental health services for young people accessible and relevant to their circumstances. It is important young people have the right support at the earliest opportunity,” says Dr Coleman.

“Since July last year all DHBs extended their primary mental health services to young people aged between 12 and 19 to ensure a consistent approach and free access to primary care services across New Zealand.

“3,071 young people aged 12 to 19 were seen by primary mental health services, and a further 1,328 received alcohol intervention support through primary care during July to September last year.

“DHBs were asked to ensure they offer services that are targeted to the needs of teenagers in their local communities, working in partnership with local general practices, school-based services, iwi providers and NGOs.”

Young people experiencing mental health problems can access extended GP or practice nurse consultations, counselling and group therapy, as well as a range of programmes from anger management to coping with exam stress, youth drop-in services and specific support for Maori and Pasifika youth.

These services are available to all young people regardless of whether they are registered with a GP.

This initiative is part of the Prime Minister’s Youth Mental Health Project which consists of 26 actions to improve the mental health and wellbeing of young people.

The Government has invested $62 million over four years to support young people with or at risk of developing mild to moderate mental health issues.