New Zealand is the first country to have a “well-being” budget.
In recent months, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has made a push to prioritize mental health by adding a “well-being” section into the country’s annual budget. The funding will focus on child poverty, domestic violence, and mental health.
“We must accept that the race to grow our economies makes us all poorer is it comes at the cost of our environment, or leaves our people behind,” she stated. “There are clear benefits to supporting positive mental well-being.”
New Zealand was ranked eighth in the UN report on world happiness released in 2019.
“What stands out about the happiest and most well-connected societies is their resilience and ability to deal with bad things,” the report’s co-author John Helliwell told CNN.
The new budget will be effective on May 30.
Ardern has also been commended for her leadership and compassion after at least 51 people were killed and dozens more injured when an Australian citizen opened fire in two mosques in Christchurch. The country quickly passed a law banning semi-automatic weapons less than a month after the attack.
The man who attacked the mosques has officially been charged with “engaging in a terrorist act.”