The People’s Mental Health Review is a much needed wake up call for the Government on mental health, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.
“I applaud their proposal to restore a Mental Health Commission and their call for an urgent funding increase and review of mental health.
“As I have criss-crossed the country, talking to Kiwis, the huge concern about our mental health service has been astounding.
“The system is broken and we have to restore the $1.7 billion hole in health funding to fix our mental health services. Labour will have an urgent review to identify where funding is most needed.
“We know that the number of mental health service users have increased by 60 per cent since 2007/08.
“The report says patients have told ‘a story of frustration at being unable to access mental health services.’ This is a tragic indictment of the Government’s underfunding with many submitters talking of despair and hopelessness.
“Kiwis described how very hard it is for individuals to take on the challenge of holding the mental health system to account. The report says ‘this highlights the impact of losing the monitoring and oversight once provided by the Mental Health Commission.’
“Recent reports of bed closures, staff assaults and suicides are signalling a growing crisis in mental health.
“The Government has to act and act now,” says Andrew Little.