OPINION: Where are we really at with mental health?
It's the same debate and the same old story as we approach three weeks out from the election.
Now, don't get me wrong, I want to celebrate the Government's "vision" on mental health and their generosity - $1.9 billion thrown at the problem.
On the frontline this Government talked all the platitudes on mental health, but the same old result is ugly and in some areas getting more unsafe, more under-resourced. Where's the hope?
All the Government fanfare and all of the money allocated, and we ain't getting on top of it. No amount of press releases and pleasantries and smiles and waves can mask the fact I would be scared if I was committed to one of the acute mental health wards in New Zealand. I'd be worried it was a one-way trip.
The problems are apparently everywhere and while a few small improvements may have happened, and money has been allocated, the big picture remains just as bad as when those nasty Nats were running mental health. The answer of course is time - good things take time, but many people simply do not have it.
Duncan Garner hosts The AM Show
Where to find help and support:
- Shine (domestic violence) - 0508 744 633
- Women's Refuge - 0800 733 843 (0800 REFUGE)
- Need to Talk? - Call or text 1737
- What's Up - 0800 WHATS UP (0800 942 8787)
- Lifeline - 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland
- Youthline - 0800 376 633, text 234, email firstname.lastname@example.org or online chat
- Samaritans - 0800 726 666
- Depression Helpline - 0800 111 757
- Suicide Crisis Helpline - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
- Shakti Community Council - 0800 742 584