There is new evidence that the Mental Health system is under increasing strain with waiting times for young people to be seen by mental health and addiction services lengthening says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.
“Following yesterday’s seat of the pants announcement by Jonathan Coleman that he is going to Cabinet to seek funding in the few weeks left before Budget, the Government’s own data shows that last year nearly 1500 children and teens waited more than eight weeks to be seen for the first time.
“This shows the system is close to breaking point with an increase in waiting times for children and teenagers. Last year alone,teens who had to wait more than eight weeks for counselling rose from 607 in 2015 to 708.
“There has been a 60 per cent increase in people accessing mental health services since National took office but only a 28 per cent increase in funding.
“The Minister has finally panicked and scrabbled together a low-key review of mental health services that is going to come out of existing baselines.
“The Government has to accept that restoring the $1.7 billion dollars of funding that has been lost to health in the last six years has to be part of the solution,“ says David Clark.