- Date published:
7:01 am, April 20th, 2017 - 25 comments
Categories: accountability, activism, class war, health - Tags: action station, brighter future, funding cuts, health, mental health, report
The warning bells have been sounding for a long time now. But The People’s Mental Health Review report (pdf) really puts the issue of the deterioration of our mental health system firmly in the spotlight:
Damning report joins calls for inquiry into country’s stretched mental health services
Pressure is building for the Government to launch an independent inquiry into the mental health sector in the wake of a damning new report.
The People’s Mental Health Review report, released today, canvassed 500 people who have either accessed or worked within mental health services in New Zealand.
Almost 95 per cent of those surveyed had negative experiences of the sector and shared stories of inappropriately long wait times, an over-reliance on medication and an under-resourced, stressed workforce.
“In a number of stories people expressed concern that they couldn’t get the help they needed until their health had deteriorated to the point of crisis,” said ActionStation, the community campaign group behind the survey.
The report recommended urgent funding increases, rolling out mental health education programmes across the country and the reinstatement of the Mental Health Commissioner, to provide independent oversight of the sector.
It also added to recent calls for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the provision of mental health services – a request made by both the Parents of Children with Additional Needs Collective and the Aotearoa Students’ Alliance just last week.
The Ministry of Health was contacted by the Herald for comment about the People’s Mental Health Review report, but is yet to respond. …
Cracks in NZ mental health system revealed in review
Police are responding to 90 mental health related calls every 24 hours, a new report has found.
The People’s Mental Health Review was carried out in response to a 2016 announcement funding was being cut from mental health services across the country.
The report made several recommendations, including an urgent funding increase for mental health services, a fully independent oversight of the mental health system, and a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the structure and provision of mental health services.
Labour leader Andrew Little said Kiwis had “huge concern” about publicly-funded mental health services. The number of service users had increased by 60 per cent since the 2007/08 year, he said.
“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. …
The figure of a 60 per cent increase in demand since 2007/08 is staggering.
And National’s response has been to slash funding:
Auckland’s crumbling mental health services
Chch mental health funding slashed despite overwhelming demand
Chch mental health cuts ‘put lives at risk’
Mental health services facing cutbacks (ODT)
Cuts to mental health acute care ill-advised say psychiatrists
Coleman’s cuts create crisis
The stark reality: New Zealand no longer has a functioning Mental Health Service
What with natural disasters, the housing crisis, increasing economic insecurity and inequality, decreasing job security and conditions, and our underlying long term problems with domestic abuse, substance abuse, racism, and suicide – these are difficult times. National’s cuts are part of the problem. I expect that they will try and wait out the report, and do nothing. I hope I’m wrong.
The articles quoted above both have lists of helpline numbers, and here’s one from RNZ: