New Zealanders give Government a fail for mental health - poll

  • 24/05/2017

Only one in 10 New Zealanders think the Government is doing enough to cope with the country's mental health needs, according to a poll that's just been released by the Public Service Association.

The PSA represents most mental health nurses and commissioned UMR Research to conduct the poll.

It showed just 13 percent of the 750 people questioned thought the Government was doing enough to ensure everyone gets the mental health care they need, when they need it.

Sixty percent felt the government wasn't doing enough, 22 percent neither agreed nor disagreed and five percent were unsure.

"The first step in resolving any mental health issue is acknowledging the problem," said PSA national secretary Erin Polaczuk.

"It is totally negligent for the government to continue denying there's a crisis - it's clear that the public, workers and service users agree that not enough is being done."

On Monday the Labour Party claimed police officers were spending 600 hours a day dealing with mental health cases because services couldn't cope.

Police Minister Paula Bennett disputed those figures, saying it was closer to 300 hours a day.

But she admitted it was a strain on police resources and hinted at announcements later this week, possibly as part of Thursday's budget.