Aotearoa can be a country where everybody feels they belong. The Green Party has always recognised that our mental health is inextricably linked to communities, our physical wellbeing and sense of belonging, the health of our environment, and our relationships with each other. Poverty, exclusion, racism, isolation, and trauma affect too many people and hamper their ability to live and reach their fullest potential.
In Government, we’ve increased access to free youth mental health services through the Piki programme for students. We’ve also supported the Mental Health Commission to hold the Government and service providers accountable.
But too many of us find it difficult to identify when “feeling down” tips into something more enduring, and too many are not reaching out for help when they need it. A lot of people simply don’t know who to turn to. We need to confront the most damaging stigmas around mental health and addiction, and fight for what’s right even when it’s complicated.
Aotearoa can be a place where everybody is valued, respected, housed, and has access to fulfilling education and livelihoods. The Green Party will prioritise mental health, recognising the public health factors that influence wellbeing, and ensuring barrier-free access to professional support when needed.
The Green Party will:
- Expand free counselling to everyone under 25, and work towards extending this to all adults.
- Champion recognition of mental health as a community and country-wide responsibility, instead of placing the burden on people experiencing issues.
- Fund inpatient and community mental health services at all levels to ensure everyone in Aotearoa can access help if they need it.
- Improve post-natal mental health services so that no new parent needs to struggle.
- Fund innovative initiatives that indicate high recovery rates with minimal medication.
- Continue working through the Cross Parliamentary Mental Health and Addiction Wellbeing Group, to further destigmatise mental ill health and ensure MPs are well educated to build consensus on the drivers of mental ill health and policy solutions.