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Catholic groups who work with the poor tell us that mental illness is the unacknowledged companion of poverty in New Zealand. Many people are now able to speak of terrible experiences in institutional care, yet community care has failed many others. There is a growing recognition that those who experience mental illness need social, spiritual and community support alongside medical services.
This booklet considers some of the issues around mental health in the light of Catholic social teaching and what we need to do to be a society which strives for the mental wellbeing of all.