The Government has increased its targeted mental health and wellbeing investment for Rainbow young people, taking the total amount of funding past its manifesto commitment.
“Earlier this year the Government announced the first investment of $4-million specifically for Rainbow mental wellbeing initiatives aimed at young people – this has now been boosted by an additional $600,000,” Health Minister Andrew Little said.
“We know the Rainbow community is more at-risk and likely to experience poorer mental health and wellbeing, discrimination, harassment and bullying than the general population and this is unacceptable.
“This funding is to support projects, activities and Rainbow organisations to improve mental health outcomes for future generations of Rainbow communities,” Andrew Little said.
The now $4.6-million package consists of; $3.2 million for primary mental health and addiction services for Rainbow young people across the motu – awarded to RainbowYOUTH and InsideOUT Kōaro; an $800,000 top-up to the Rule Foundation’s Rainbow Wellbeing Legacy Fund; and $600,000 to deliver Rainbow competency training to mental health and addiction workforces.
“RainbowYOUTH can now extend its peer support service nationwide, and InsideOUT can expand its support service from 200 to 300 schools. Upskilling and supporting the mental health and addiction workforce will equip them to better respond to the needs of the Rainbow community,” Andrew Little said.
“The Rule Foundation has also approved grants to 12 initiatives to help people including Māori/takatāpui and Pacific peoples; Indian, ethnic and migrant communities; transgender/non-binary, intersex people; faith and independent rainbow tradespeople.
“This funding is part of a legacy of positive outcomes being created by the 2019 Wellbeing Budget where we committed to improve access to and choice of mental wellbeing services for all New Zealanders,” Andrew Little said.
Youth mental health is part of the Cooperation Agreement between Labour and The Green Party.
“Back in 2019 the He Ara Oranga Mental Health and Addiction Inquiry made clear that a person’s mental wellbeing relies on each of us having what we need to live our authentic, connected lives. For our rainbow and takatāpui whānau, this means being supported to be who we are, no matter who we are or who we love,” Green Party mental health spokesperson Chlöe Swarbrick said.
“The Green Party supports the Government’s bills to change the law to end conversion practices and enable self-identification. Today’s funding boost for fit for purpose mental health and addiction supports will help ensure that our communities can access the services they, like all New Zealanders, deserve.”
About the funding
Altogether $4.6 million over four years has been allocated in to support Rainbow young people’s mental health and addiction services and workforce development.
- Funding will increase services to an additional 100 schools per year
- They will expand existing services/supports in schools in: Wellington, Wairarapa, Auckland, Manawatū, Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, Canterbury, Otago and Southland,
- Establish new services/supports in schools the West Coast, Nelson/Tasman, Marlborough, Waikato, Gisborne, Whanganui, Napier/Hastings, and Northland.
- All regions have started service delivery and Gisborne is expected to start soon
- Service delivery is expected to begin in the coming months
- Rainbow Youth Incorporated will expand the existing RainbowYOUTH Peer Support (Service) in Auckland, Northland, Dunedin, Taranaki, and nationwide (through virtual methods).
The 12 initiatives funded by The Rule Foundation’s Rainbow Wellbeing Legacy Fund
- Adhikaar Aotearoa – towards their project Nurturing the Ethnic Queer and Trans Experience in Aotearoa.
- Body Positive Inc. – towards their online outreach programme.
- Faith Space – towards Restory, a faith based support programme for rainbow people in Palmerston North.
- Gender Minorities Aotearoa – towards their mental health and wellbeing transgender support service.
- Indian Origin Pride NZ – towards establishing their organisation to support rainbow people of Indian origin.
- Intersex Trust Aotearoa – towards projects to develop and support intersex community health and wellbeing.
- Ngā Uri o Whiti Te Rā Mai Le Moana Trust – towards their Wellington MVPFAFF wellness fono retreat.
- Perinatal Mental Health – towards the development of transgender support resources.
- Q-Topia – towards their Waitaha regional development work.
- Rainbow Path – towards Rainbow Path wellbeing and youth sector collaboration project.
- Taiohi Morehu – towards the takatāpui component of their kaupapa Māori youth leadership group.
- Tradespeople – towards a profile series sharing the stories of LGBTQI+ trades people more authentically.
Recent Government mental health and wellbeing announcements:
- The Youth Mental Wellbeing Fund
- The first report of the Government’s Implementation Unit that found strong progress has been made since the Mental Health and Addictions Package was announced in 2019.
- Kia Manawanui – the Long term pathway – the first 10-year plan of its kind that targets the cause of mental distress and sets out how to achieve pae ora – healthy futures.
- Pacific Suicide Prevention Support
- Innovation fund for more mental health initiatives