Mental health services have been in such a dire state for such a long time that only a full inquiry and a significant injection of Government money will make a difference, the Green Party said today.
The Health Minister today announced that mental health services will get a cross-Government approach, mainly funded within existing baseline funding.
“Families of people experiencing mental health problems are being short-changed by a Government that has been missing in action for far too long,” Green Party health spokesperson Julie Anne Genter said.
“It’s great that the Minister is finally realising what thousands of New Zealanders have been telling him, our mental health system isn’t working and needs help.
“A full nationwide mental health inquiry is needed to identify the systemic problems, and deliver effective solutions, rather than just tinkering around the edges.
“Our health system has been underfunded to the tune of $1.7billion since National have been in power, so there just isn’t spare money waiting around to be repurposed for mental health.
“This Government’s Social Investment Approach will only target those who fit a very narrow fixed definition of needing help.
“The reality is that many teenagers needing mental health help or new mothers with postnatal depression will not have a parent in prison or on a benefit so they will not get seen any faster or get the help they need,” said Ms Genter.