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Kia Kaha, Kia Māia, Kia Ora Aotearoa: COVID 19 Psychosocial and Mental Wellbeing Recovery Plan (2020)

Ministry of Health New Zealand Country Resources Mental Health Strategies and Plans New Zealand May 2020 Policy document

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This plan sets out the national approach to supporting the mental and social wellbeing of New Zealanders as the nation responds and recovers from COVID 19 pandemic, as well as the specific actions the Ministry of Health will take to support New Zealanders’ mental wellbeing. This plan follows on from the psychosocial plan that was developed to guide the emergency response during the level four lockdown, based on the Ministry’s Framework for Psychosocial Support in Emergencies. This new plan is not prescriptive. Instead, it provides a guiding framework and direction for collaborative action.

Importantly, this plan recognises that psychosocial recovery requires both mental and social wellbeing. In fact, mental and social wellbeing are largely dependent on each other, and are difficult concepts to separate. In this plan the terms psychosocial wellbeing and mental wellbeing are used interchangeably.

The Ministry’s actions contribute to the whole-of-government response and complement other government agency actions under way to meet the psychosocial needs of those impacted by COVID 19. The plan is based on an expectation of cross-agency coordination and input, a consistent approach to psychosocial response and recovery, and clarity about roles in the provision of ongoing health and social support. Community-based organisations and networks will play a key role in assisting people to connect with health and social support services in their communities. The plan is intended to guide agencies, services and communities contributing to wellbeing so that mental and social wellbeing is a key part of all support and services provided as part of the COVID 19 response and recovery.

The life of this plan is for 12–18 months but we recognise that recovery and adapting to a new reality is likely to take several years.


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