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Inquiry calls for overhaul of ‘failing’ mental health system

New Zealand’s mental health and addiction services are under-resourced, culturally insensitive and rely too heavily on medication as a primary treatment, a national inquiry has found.

The inquiry’s final report estimates the annual cost of mental illness to be around $12 billion, with up to 80 per cent of New Zealanders experiencing mental distress and addiction problems during their lives.

It says there are “clear links” between poverty and mental health, and that the NZ government must tackle social and economic inequalities that drive limited access to health services.

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