Age Concern New Zealand welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Mental Health and Wellbeing Outcomes Framework for Aotearoa in its early development stages. We made an earlier submission on the 2019 Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill and are pleased it will progress to the second reading. We support the establishment of the Initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission for the time being.
Mental health and wellbeing are important for all of us. We all experience good and poorer mental wellbeing in our lives and we all respond to life challenges differently. Covid-19 has challenged us all in different ways, and it may continue to challenge the mental health and wellbeing of New Zealanders, as we live through the ongoing economic and social effects of the pandemic. In addition, New Zealand has persistently high suicide rates, as well as high levels of harm from alcohol, other drugs, gambling and family violence, including elder abuse and neglect. Age Concern New Zealand strongly supports government initiatives to improve the mental health and wellbeing of all New Zealanders.