New government puts mental health back on the agenda

Author
Rosie Gordon,
Publish Date
Wed, 25 Oct 2017, 9:06AM
The Mental Health Foundation hopes policy changes means a solid plan is coming. Photo/Getty
The Mental Health Foundation hopes policy changes means a solid plan is coming. Photo/Getty

New government puts mental health back on the agenda

Author
Rosie Gordon,
Publish Date
Wed, 25 Oct 2017, 9:06AM

 

The mental health sector is applauding a coalition government announcement to re-establish the Mental Health Commission.

The Mental Health Foundation says the sector's been without a watchdog and a strategy since the commission was disestablished in 2012.

CEO Shaun Robinson said resources have fallen nearly half a billion dollars behind, making it hard for those in crisis to recover.

"What I would hope is that the Mental Health Commission will really put some pressure on government and the DHBs to really come up with a solid plan," he said.

New Zealand has recorded some of the worst mental health statistics in the developed world. The annual suicide toll rose last year to the highest on record for the country, with 606 lives lost.

It isn't Jacinda Ardern's incoming government's only health policy that is earning them praise. 

The Public Health Association is welcoming a plan to boost health care for young people, including health checks for all Year Nine students. 

CEO Warren Lindberg said our sexual health services are in disrepair and it's hard for young people to get the help they may need. 

"School is a very good place to provide an opportunity for young people to get confidential advice when they are uncertain," he said. 

The new Labour-led government is set to hold a review of mental health services within its first 100 days in office.

Before the election, the party announced it would invest $8 billion over four years into the health sector.  

Where to get help:

If you are worried about your or someone else's mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider. However, if you or someone else is in danger or endangering others, call police immediately on 111.

Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor.

Or if you need to talk to someone else:

Lifeline – 0800 543 354
Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
Youthline – 0800 376 633 or free text 234
Kidsline – 0800 54 37 54 (for under 18s)
What's Up – 0800 942 8787 (for 5–18 year olds 1pm–10pm weekdays and 3pm–10pm weekends)
Depression Helpline – 0800 111 757 or free text 4202
Samaritans – 0800 726 666
OUTLine NZ – 0800 688 5463
Healthline – 0800 611 116

Overnight Talk

Overnight Talk

12AM - 5AM