Still no plan to address NZ’s growing mental health crisis

New Zealand is in the midst of a mental health crisis, what is needed now is action not more vision statements, working groups and nice words, National’s Mental Health and Suicide Prevention spokesperson Matt Doocey says.

“After four years in Government, Labour has today released another strategy, set up another working group and announced another investigation.

“New Zealanders were promised this Government would take action on mental health. But nothing in the Government’s announcement will help people needing mental health support today.

“Labour told New Zealanders at the 2017 election it had a plan to deal with the growing crisis. But by all accounts things have only become worse.

“New Zealand is facing serious issues. Recently released research shows following last year’s lockdowns attempted suicide in 10-14 year olds has increased by 125 per cent. This significant increase shows why we need to have the mental health services in place to respond to this growing need.

“If the Government had delivered on its promises the services Kiwis need would be available.

“Labour promised $25 million for mental health services in tertiary education and 15 months on not a single dollar has been spent, not one new service has been delivered and not one young person has been seen.

“The rollout of inpatient mental health facilities is occurring at a glacial pace. The promised frontline mental health service has been rolled out to fewer than 25 per cent of New Zealand’s GP practices. The promise of free counselling for 18-25 year olds is two years old but still isn’t available for young Kiwis outside of Wellington.

“Struggling Kiwis and their families don’t want another working group, they don’t want more spin. They want help, they want action from the Government and they want Labour to deliver on its promises.”