Mike King calls for mental health overhaul

Alicia Burrow ,
Publish Date
Mon, 18 Apr 2016, 9:36am
(File photo)

Mike King calls for mental health overhaul

Alicia Burrow ,
Publish Date
Mon, 18 Apr 2016, 9:36am

A mental health advocate is pushing for emotional wellbeing to be taught in schools.

The Green Party is calling for an urgent nationwide inquiry into mental health services, following a damning report into mental health services after the death of Waikato hospital mental health patient Nicky Stevens last year.

MORE: Concern growing over 'poor state' of Mental Health services

The Nutter's Club's Mike King agrees, and said we still have a way to go to overcome New Zealand's toughen-up attitude when it comes to emotions, especially with young people.

LISTEN ABOVE: Mike King speaks to Newstalk ZB's Alicia Burrow

"If there was more awareness in schools, and there was more of a drive towards positive societal attitudinal change, we could knock a lot of these problems on the head before they become problems."

King said a volatile funding model that forces organisations to compete for funding is the problem:

"So you've got a huge pool of people, all trying to do good by the people, but they're forced to put their own self interest first for the survival of their organisations."

"That's never going to work."

The calls have been echoed by a health care professional, who added that prisoners with mental health issues aren't receiving the care they need.

Clinical Manager of Alcohol & Drug Assessment Counselling Roger Brooking said less-urgent forms of mental illness such as chronic depression, anxiety and PTSD aren't treated in prison.

"There's a huge shortage of adequate mental health treatment in prison."

"It's been said by a psychiatrist that you can't get mental health treatment in prison unless you go completely off your rocker."

Last year 564 people committed suicide in New Zealand - that's the highest figure ever recorded.

Are you affected by an issues in this article? Here's where to get help:

• Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
• Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
• Youth services: (06) 3555 906
• Youthline: 0800 376 633
• Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (4pm to 6pm weekdays)
• Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• The Word
• Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
• Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
• CASPER Suicide Prevention
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.