Mental health: Mum of bipolar daughter's emotional plea to Jacinda Ardern

A mother with a bipolar daughter has a message for the Prime Minister over the Government's response to the mental health inquiry.

"Be the mother that changes."

Effy Lane, an 18-year-old who lives with bipolar, says there's a lot of stigma around mental health and especially institutions.

She knows that because she was put into the Rangatahi youth mental health ward three times in the past year. The first time she was sent home without diagnosis and without medication.

Effy said a "lot of your rights are taken away from you", and "you don't feel like you've done anything wrong - it feels like an invasion of your privacy".

"They probably think that what they are doing is best for you in that moment when you're thinking the completely the opposite."

Effy's mum, George, said a couple of times her daughter went missing from mental health services, and no one would tell her what was going on.

"Information was not given to the police - the police didn't know when she was found - it could have all gone terribly wrong."

And she doesn't think the Government's response will change all that much. That's why she hopes the Prime Minister will lead the way. 

Effy was taken in under the Mental Health Act, which - in its response on Wednesday to the recommendations made in the mental health inquiry - the Government plans to completely scrap and start again.

Health Minister David Clark said on Wednesday the Act is "out of date, and inconsistent with our international human rights obligations". 

That could take months or even years - and time is what the Government is calling out for. 

"Our goal is that everyone who needs help can access help," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. "Of course, that means training up a workforce so it is going to take a bit of time - it's no excuse though not to start."

But the Government has been sitting on the mental health inquiry for six months. 

And all the while New Zealand's suicide rates are skyrocketing. Figures obtained by Newshub show the number of Kiwis hospitalised after intentionally self-harming is on the rise.

Ten years ago, 2800 people were hospitalised for self-harm. The latest available figures for 2017 show that figure increased by up to 4878 - an increase of 73 percent. 

One of the bigger problems within the Rangatahi unit for Lane was how she says she was exposed to people self-harming and even suicide attempts - all of that while she was struggling herself. 

The Government is foreshadowing a big chunk of money for mental health in the Budget on Thursday to implement all of the recommendations it has agreed to. 

There was just one tiny hint on Wednesday: that money would be allocated toward helping those who've lost loved ones to suicide.

Where to find help and support:

  • Need to Talk? - Call or text 1737

  • Lifeline - 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland

  • Youthline - 0800 376 633, text 234, email talk@youthline.co.nz or online chat

  • Samaritans - 0800 726 666

  • Depression Helpline - 0800 111 757

  • Suicide Crisis Helpline - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)

Newshub.