Free mental health services for young people are being rolled out across Wellington

Free mental health services for young people are being rolled out across Wellington

May 24, 2019 News 0

Free mental health services for young people are being rolled out across Wellington, as the Government eyes services for the rest of the country.

The pilot programme named Piki supports 18 to 25-year-olds with mild to moderate mental health needs, and gives access to counselling and mental health support.

“I’m chuffed we are rolling this programme out, that peer support is being put in place, that is properly overseen and that the programme is being reviewed as we are going,” Health Minister David Clark said.

The first pilot was launched in Porirua in February, and with today’s announcement the programme has expanded across the Wellington region and into tertiary providers.

“Six hundred people have been assisted that otherwise might not necessarily have been assisted by mental health services that have existed currently,” Dr Clark said. “We acknowledge that we don’t have the workforce that is really needed across the country, so we’re learning from the Porirua experience.”

When asked about expanding the programme across New Zealand, Dr Clark said it was “important that this programme is successful here, then we’ll look at how we roll mental health services out more widely”.

He estimated the roll out of Piki across greater Wellington would probably be completed by the end of the year, and would provide services for 10,000 young people.

Green Party’s mental health spokesperson Chlöe Swarbrick described the Wellington roll-out as a “massive step towards delivering accessible mental health and well-being services for our country’s young people”.

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