Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces mental health measure
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says a new facility for those with severe intellectual disabilities and mental illness will help a small group of people similar to autistic man Ashley Peacock.
Ardern made the announcement at the Rātonga-Rua-O-Porirua Mental Health Campus in Porirua, saying $8.4 million in funding would provide a new six-unit secure facility to provide individualised care for the most high-needs patients.
The move follows publicity over the case of autistic man Ashley Peacock, who has been in a small room at the psychiatric facility at Porirua for almost eight years, and is about to be moved into the community after years of battling by his parents.
Ardern said a long-term solution had now been found for Peacock but the units would cater for those with similar complex needs.
“It may be a small number of people who need this service, but at the moment we are not meeting that need,” Ardern said.
“These people are sons and daughters, brothers and sisters. They and the staff who care for them deserve fit-for-purpose facilities that meet existing needs and this investment ensures that.”