Open access to a full menu of services: Public submission to the Mental Health Inquiry


We call on the Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction to recommend that all people with mental distress or addiction have open access to a full menu of services, so that no-one who seeks help is turned away and everyone is offered more than medication.

Sign the open submission to support open access to a full menu of services.


Additionally, our full submission, The Wellbeing Manifesto for Aotearoa New Zealand, is available to read or download. You can also download this short submission.

Visit the Wellbeing Manifesto Facebook page:


Why is it important?

The Inquiry is now open to public submissions on how New Zealand’s approach to mental health and addiction needs to change.

The People’s Mental Health Report and other sources show that people and their whānau who experience stress, distress and addiction widely agree:

  • New Zealand’s social conditions can undermine wellbeing for some people.
  • The service system responds poorly to the needs of people with mental distress and addiction – with difficult access, a narrow range of responses and poor outcomes.


To achieve open access to comprehensive range of responses, the government needs to commit to seven wellbeing priorities across the spectrum – to prevent, respond to, and lessen the impact of mental distress and addiction:

  1. We live in social conditions that enable us to look after their own and each other’s wellbeing.
  2. We know how to recognise and respond to stress, distress and addiction.
  3. We can easily find services and supports for people with distress and addiction.
  4. We get timely, respectful and helpful responses from them.
  5. We have access to a comprehensive range of community-based services and supports.
  6. We are supported by people who have ‘walked in our shoes’, as well as professionals.
  7. We are enabled to reconnect with ourselves, our whānau and valued roles in our communities.


To meet these priorities, the government needs to redesign the system:

  • All the sectors that have responsibility for wellbeing, distress and addiction - such as health, social development, justice, corrections and education:

    • Jointly fund services, support and opportunities at the local level.

    • Provide responses for people’s social, economic, psychological, spiritual and health needs.

    • Co-deliver the responses in community settings, such as primary health, marae, workplaces, and online.

  • Māori design and deliver services for Māori.

  • There is a major expansion of the peer and cultural workforces.

  • The system is accountable to the people for the fulfilment of the seven wellbeing priorities.


    The Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction gives us a rare opportunity to be part of a world-leading transformation. More of the same will not fix the problem but open access to a full menu of services will improve wellbeing and save lives.

    Please support open access to a full menu of services by signing up today.

    Our full submission, The Wellbeing Manifesto for Aotearoa New Zealand, is also available to read or download.


    How it will be delivered

    PeerZone and ActionStation will present the open submission to the Inquiry panel at a public meeting in early August. All people who sign up will be invited.

    More information

    For info on the Inquiry go to:

    For info on PeerZone go to:

    The People’s Mental Health Report: