Boost To Mental Health Funding Nationally Makes Sense

12 April 2017

New Zealand First is calling on the government to increase the number of mental health and addiction nurses at all District Health Boards.

Minister of Health Jonathan Coleman announced yesterday a 63% increase in mental health and addiction services for Lakes, Mid Central and Nelson Marlborough District Health Boards. 
  
“While they clearly have need the mental health crisis extends across the country,” says New Zealand First Associate Spokesperson for Health Ria Bond.

“For example, Whanganui, West Coast and Tairawhiti DHBs have had a large number of suicides over the last two years; why haven’t they received additional support?

“This also goes for Southern DHB which was criticised by Mental Health Commissioner Kevin Allan for failures around the death of a young man.

“The region also sits above the national average for suicides. 

“In the last year, from July 2015 to June 2016, 579 New Zealanders lost their lives to suicide.

“We need to radically change the way we deal with mental health. That starts with a national inquiry into mental health and greater funding for specialist mental health care providers in all DHBs. 

“The response from the Minister is a day late and a dollar short,” says Ms Bond.