Mental health reporting is failing Kiwis in need

The handbrake applied by Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Government to mental health reporting is not good enough and warrants a decent explanation from the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins says.

“It is not acceptable that health officials have been working behind the scenes to sanitise and slow the release of so-called ‘negative’ statistics on mental health. It’s an utter disgrace.

“It suggests Jacinda Ardern’s Government is afraid of the truth: that the mental health system is in worse shape now than it was when Labour took over in 2017.

“The Prime Minister needs to demand better from her health minister. To think it is alright to sanitise a report because it contains ‘negative’ statistics about suicides, waiting times and even the number of people accessing specialised mental health services is unthinkable.

“These reports are a way of benchmarking the investment put into mental health and the results of those investments. They are crucial for knowing whether the money spent on these services is having a meaningful impact on the New Zealanders who need them.

“Success isn’t measured by the number of announcements a Government makes or the amount of money it budgets. Neither of these things matter to people suffering from mental health issues if they aren’t getting the help they desperately need.

“The Government won’t be able to do right by Kiwis who are desperately in need of mental health support until it takes an honest look at the problem.”