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24 Jan 2018 14:20
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  •   Home > News > Maori

    Maori forced into mental health treatment

    Alarming statistics from the annual mental health report show that Maori are over-represented in harsh treatment methods such as isolation.


    Maori are more likely to be subjected to compulsory mental health treatment and placed in seclusion, a mental health report has revealed.

    The over-representation of Maori in mental health services was first discussed in the annual Director of Mental Health's Annual Report in 2013.

    The latest report released on Tuesday shows that Maori continue to be put in isolation at much higher rates than non-Maori, despite dedicated efforts to eliminate its use that have seen overall rates drop by a quarter since 2009.

    In 2016, Maori were 4.8 times more likely to be secluded in an adult inpatient facility than non-Maori, up from 3.7 times in 2013.

    The report also shows that Maori are 3.6 times more likely to be put under a compulsory treatment order than non-Maori.

    A hui in June 2015 aimed to find out more about the experiences of tangata whaiora (Maori in mental health care) and how they could be improved.

    Patients said they often did not understand the treatment process or that they struggled to be released from the Mental Health Act.

    Patients said they wanted a holistic approach to mental health services that increased whanau involvement and the formation of a national body of Maori with the lived experience of mental health care to improve advocacy for tangata whaiora.

    The Waitangi Tribunal will begin hearings next year over high rates of Maori suicide being a result of colonisation, including a claim put forward by Jane Stevens, the mother of Nicky Stevens who took his life in March 2015.


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