Publication date: 27 June 2019
Like other developed nations, New Zealand’s population is ageing. The number of New Zealanders aged 65 years and over (older people) is expected to increase by nearly 40 per cent over the next years to 2028 and this population will become more ethnically diverse over time.
Mental health and addiction issues among older New Zealanders are often under-recognised. Each year, 1 to 2 in every 6 older people may have serious problems with mental health or alcohol consumption. Prescribing rates for mental health medications are high for older people but their access to secondary care mental health and addiction services is low.
In 2018, Te Pou began a 3-year project to identify workforce development priorities and workforce initiatives to grow and develop the mental health and addiction workforce for older people.
This report summarises the first-year project findings. These were developed using a workforce planning approach to identify 10 workforce development priorities across the Ministry of Health’s five domains of workforce development. These include: