Grieving parents take call for mental health inquiry to Parliament

A mother and father who lost their 15-year-old daughter to suicide have presented a petition to Parliament on Tuesday calling for an urgent inquiry into mental health.

Hana Reedy and her husband Apimeleki Nasedra believe New Zealand's mental health system is failing young people, after they tried everything they could to help their daughter Ariana, who killed herself two months ago after two previous attempts.

They created the petition in her honour, and Ms Reedy says she's "angry and broken" that her daughter couldn't get the help she needed.

It was signed by more than 30,000 people and presented to Parliament at midday. Green co-leader James Shaw and Labour leader Jacinda Ardern were there to receive it.

Ms Reedy and Mr Nasedra were joined by members of the Yes We Care coalition and the Public Service Association, who support their call for an independent inquiry into mental health services in New Zealand.

Ms Reedy says after Ariana first attempted suicide, she took her to hospital, but she was discharged after two nights. After a second attempt Ariana was admitted to a general children's ward, and was released again a few days later "because she wasn't considered serious".

The grieving mother says she did everything she could to help Ariana, but it should not have been so difficult.

"I shouldn't have had to fight to get services to help her... A month after she was released she took her life. I truly believe is she could have got the help she needed, she would still be here today."

In addition to an urgent inquiry into mental health, the petition calls for the restoration of $2.3 billion in health funding, a suicide reduction target, safe staffing levels and healthy homes.

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman had been invited to receive the petition, but was unable to attend.

Where to find help and support:

  • Lifeline: 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland
  • Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
  • Healthline: 0800 611 116
  • Samaritans: 0800 726 666
  • Depression Helpline: 0800 111 757
  • Mental Health Foundation