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June 02, 2019 Sunday 12:11:41 PM IST

New Zealand Govt Gives Prominence to Mental Health Over Material Wealth

Policy Indications

New Zealand has unveiled the first of its kind budget that aims to make people happy rather than rich. It promises to spend more money on tackling suicides, child poverty and mental health problems. The allocation for mental health problems is NZ$ 2 Bn. 
The nation has the highest teen and young adult suicide rate in Western countries. An allocation of NZ$200 mn will be used for providing shelter and NZ$1 bn to fight child poverty. The initiative by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is to take the emphasis away from GDP as a measure of country's progress to quality of life enjoyed by the citizens.
New Zealand becomes the second nation to give importance to happiness over wealth. The Kingdom of Bhutan has been doint it since 1970's and they started publishing 'gross national happiness index' since 2008.

(Photo Source: Sky Tower, Auckland by Darshan Sreekumar)



 



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