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Trying to bury bad news

Written By: - Date published: 5:06 pm, August 1st, 2017 - 29 comments
Categories: Ethics, health - Tags: ,

It’s a busy news day, so… Government axes Lifeline contract.

Yes, we still top the western world on youth suicide.  We still have regular stories like this today.

So what does the Government do?  Cancel the money that Lifeline uses to train thousands in suicide prevention.

$800,000 – a massive amount to Lifeline and the thousands who’ve needed it, a pittance in the government books.  There’s no funding for anything for 6 months, then an untested provider will be used for the training.

This is a government that just sees the price of everything, but can’t even see the value of something that saves so many lives.

29 comments on “Trying to bury bad news ”

  1. adam 1

    Dead people don’t vote national, so what do they care?

    • Sabine 1.1

      dead people don’t vote
      homeless people don’t vote
      and so on and so on.

      oh well. maybe you know, just like with the US, this country deserves this government.

      • adam 1.1.1

        Of course we do, look at the comments by the trolls here.

        We deserve everything we get, becasue this is what worshiping cupidity gets you.

  2. One Anonymous Bloke 2

    Never forget what the National Party is. A slow relentless civil war against the most vulnerable members of society.

  3. srylands 3

    The source article says that the new provider was chosen by an independent panel. It also states that total funding will be increased by $250,000 to provide higher service volumes. That sounds like good news rather than a relentless civil war against the most vulnerable.

    The Governnet is doing great things with an investment approach to helping vulnerable people. But that relies on choosing the best providers.

    • McFlock 3.1

      Yeah, that was the logic they used to privatise some prison operations, too.
      Didn’t bloody work.

    • adam 3.2

      I’m going to suggest srylands you have not worked with this government via the n.g.o sector. Because your utterances once again make you look like a out of touch prat.

      People like you…

    • AsleepWhileWalking 3.3

      While I tend to agree with you I’m always suspicious of government funding anything at all. And I’m not sure the timing was right on this to ditch an established provider.

      It is my suspicion that the suicide rate ties in with the difficulties in upward mobility and an appalling mental health system in which you can waste 2 years out of a five year period just waiting for referrals.

    • Meanwhile, they just threw out 50 years of experience for an untried provider who probably got the contract because they cut the price.

      In other words, it’s going to end up costing us more* and we’re going to get less service**.

      * More preventable deaths
      ** More whinging that it wasn’t anyone’s fault and how could they have possibly known

      • Patricia 3.4.1

        Check out the board of Le Va who have the contract that Lifeline lost. Dr Mary English – wife of PM Bill English.

        • weka

          Interesting. I wonder if her anti-abortion politics are a factor there.

          • Draco T Bastard

            And that scares me even more.

            And, yes, that’s probably also a factor as well as the cronyism.

          • Matthew Whitehead

            Depends how independent the independent panel were, I guess.

            • weka

              according to the above Mary English is on the board that runs the organisation that has the new contract. So I’d be wanting to know that any potential conflicts of interest were examined re her abortion politics. Personally I wouldn’t let her anywhere near a social service agency.

              edit, see Bill’s comment re Lifekeeper name.

              Trying to bury bad news

              • Yeah, I mean, potentially a pro-life person involved in an organisation designed to alleviate suicide at first blush seems like it wouldn’t cause issues, but I get where you’re going with that- if they end up doing any Crisis Pregnancy type BS in their new service there ought to be hell to pay. Which is not to say that pro-life people shouldn’t ever get involved in mental health and suicide prevention, but they need people with actual mental health credentials and an evidence-based approach placed above them to keep any BS in check.

        • Bill

          Throwing in the link…and really biting my tongue over the change in service name from “Lifeline” to “Lifekeeper” given Mary English’s …nah. Said I was biting my cynical tongue.


        • Psych nurse

          Whats a lady to do when you take away her housing allowance, smacks of cronyism.

        • AsleepWhileWalking

          Ahh that figures.

          • Descendant Of Sssmith

            Might as well finish as they started.

            “In last year’s budget, the Nats awarded a $4.8m contract to an unknown organisation called PEDA without tender and against official advice. The people behind PEDA were apparently tied to Bill English via his wife. The full truth still hasn’t come out. Now, the Nats are up to the same trick with Parents Inc.

            Paula Bennett’s Ministry of Social Development will pay $2.4 million to Parents Inc for “parenting courses for the caregivers of vulnerable children”. This contract was untendered and previously unknown.”

            Parents Inc: it’s PEDA redux

      • greywarshark 3.4.2

        Don’t forget the neolib belief that people should not rely on government. It breeds lazy attitudes and complacency. So government funds for a limited period and then the entity should be self-supporting, get sponsorship from private enterprise, etc.

        Government is not to serve the people, but to play with them in a vast game of chess. They can upset the game, turn the board over, introduce new rules of trade with no tariffs to prevent dumping and protect against low prices from volume producers. The people must accept. When their wages, hours, living conditions go down. That is their fault. And government can only help for so long. If you can’t manage, can’t pull yourself together, it is your limitations that result in you struggling. Others can cope, why can’t you. Sympathy and love for humankind in the general, rather than the particular, doesn’t fit the neolib model. So suicide numbers wouldn’t matter except for the annoying thing that there is a worldwide watch on the stats from different countries and you can’t just brush them under the mat, wave them away with some magic words and a smile.

        Government is not for the people, it is to faciltate the location of NZ as a welcoming business entity, come and use our space for your purposes. We have laws governing some things but they are pretty flexible.

    • weka 3.5

      “It also states that total funding will be increased by $250,000 to provide higher service volumes.”

      yes, good move by National. If you’re going to increase the suicide rate, not a bad idea to have a structure to deal with higher service volumes.

    • Gabby 3.6

      Who’s on the ‘independent’ panel slyrants?

  4. Wensleydale 4

    Unless you’re “one of them”, they don’t care if you shuffle out to the back shed and hang yourself with an extension cord. You’re literally of no consequence, and they lose no sleep over your premature demise.

    Problem Gambling – Don’t care. Bankrupt yourself and ruin your family. Couldn’t give a toss.
    Women’s Refuge – Don’t care. If you get bashed and die, and your kids are traumatised, you were probably never “one of us” anyway. “We” are civilized folk and don’t indulge in that sort of sordid carry-on.
    Lifeline – Don’t care. It’s a bit like unofficial eugenics really isn’t it? I mean, what sort of contribution do the mentally unwell or dysfunctional adolescents really make to society? Wasters, the lot of them. Probably don’t even play golf or drive a European car.

    Basically, what they’re saying is, “If you’re poor, or prone to depression, or trapped in a violent relationship, or suffer from a potentially catastrophic addiction, go and dig yourself a hole, then sit in it, and wait to die.” Because this government just does not give a fuck about you.

  5. savenz 5

    Thanks (sarcasm) Labour for falling for it again, and keeping Labour ‘leadership’ in the MSM NOT what the National party is up to.

    • TootingPopularFront 5.1

      Yup, distraction 101, every 3 years we have to go through the same process like Sisyphus and his bloody rock…
      All I hope for is that between Jacinda and Metiria, they manage to engage enough young people to counteract the self-interested National voting throng that now infest these islands.

  6. Tamati Tautuhi 6

    Hopefully Jacinda and Kelvin Davis can drive this thing through, Labour are stronger with Kelvin Davis in the mix the guy is intelligent, understands grass roots NZ, rural NZ and has a good understanding of Maori Issues.

    NZ needs a strong Labour Party after it has been decimated by 30-40 years of Neoliberal Dogma.

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