Greens call for conversation around mental health after Government rejects cross-party group

Despite the Government this week rejecting a cross-party mental health group, the Green Party is calling on Kiwis to have a conversation about their mental well-being.

Mental Health Awareness begins on Monday, and Green Party mental health spokesperson Chloe Swarbrick wants Kiwis to take the opportunity open up and talk to each other if they need help.

Greens call for conversation around mental health after Government rejects cross-party group

"[The] stigma around mental health issues is still too high, and there are negative stereotypes attached to asking for help, or even speaking out," she said.

"We need to end that stigma so people can be comfortable in opening up, often when they're at their most vulnerable.

Despite Ms Swarbrick saying she was "proud to be part of a Government committed to addressing the mental health crisis in New Zealand", the Labour-led Government this week cast off a potential cross-party mental health group.

In July, National Party mental health spokesperson Matt Doocey wrote to Health Minister David Clark suggesting the parties collaborate to deal with the issue.

But Dr Clark rejected that, and told Mr Doocey to wait until an on-going mental health inquiry was over.

Ms Swarbrick only recently took over the mental health portfolio from Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. She said the move away from a Minister allows the party to "constructively critique" the Government over its promises.

But National said the shift of mental health responsibilities away from a Minister shows the Greens were frustrated at the Government's current progress.

"I'd probably draw a bow that they are not happy with mental health themselves, and they are giving it to someone who has got the articulation, the credibility and the ability of being someone outside the executive to actually start asking some questions," Mr Doocey told Newshub.

The Green's confidence and supply agreement with the Government makes a huge promise of ensuring everyone "has access to timely and high-quality mental health services, including free counselling for those under 25 years".

Greens call for conversation around mental health after Government rejects cross-party group

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