Newshub-Reid Research Poll shows Government not doing enough to address mental health crisis

Newshub can reveal the Government is working on creating a special mental health fund that could see innovative programmes like Mike King's Gumboot Friday funded.

It comes as the public delivers a strong message in the latest Newshub-Reid Research poll -  the Government is not doing enough to address our mental health crisis. 

Corax Versleijen has been let down by our mental health system, turned away so many times they're now afraid to ask for help, in case there's none available. 

"I wanted to help myself and they wouldn't let me," Versleijen told Newshub. "I tried over and over and over again only to get turned away multiple times."

Corax says they've spent hours on helplines only to be hung up on.

"It's not OK. We need help now."

Health Minister Andrew Little acknowledges it should be different. 

"That's really worrying," he told Newshub. "I'm really sorry to hear that because it shouldn't be that way."

These are all the problems with our mental health system Corax's friends have sent them.

"A lot of people were getting turned away because we don't look like we're struggling."

So many people struggle with the system and struggle to get help.

Anthony, who wants to remain anonymous to protect his daughter, told Newshub his daughter has been self harming. 

"They believed it wasn't serious enough for their help."

Then there was a suicide attempt. Still, they struggled to get her the support she needed.

"It really hit home that we were out of our depth and that we just needed someone to step up and help," he said. "It shouldn't have been this hard."

Little says he understands how difficult it can be. 

"I know it's hard and I'm really sorry they're in those situations," he said. "But believe me, the system is working hard to make sure that they can get the help they need."

But the public wants and needs more now.  

In the latest Newshub-Reid Research poll, voters were asked: Is the Government doing enough to address the mental health crisis?

An overwhelming majority, 70.7 percent, said no, while just 18.2 percent said yes. 

"You've got people screaming out saying it's an issue, you've got parents up in arms saying we need help, and you're not helping," says Anthony. 

The Government pumped $1.9 billion into the sector and while more counsellors are available, the Health Minister wants to see more facilities built faster. 

"The idea that it takes several years even from the time we've made the decision we're actually going to build this and here's the money - is very frustrating," says Little.

Mike King's Gumboot Friday has been picking up some of the slack. 

"Everyone's trying, everyone's trying," King told Newshub. 

Anthony says if it wasn't for Mike King, "we might not have our daughter here today". 

King does it with no Government funding - but not for want of trying.

"The system is so slow," he says. 

But there's hope on the horizon.

"If people are actually thinking outside the box, we've actually got to have a place for that as well," says Little. 

Newshub understands the Government is set to make an announcement as soon as next week about this. 

The idea is basically mental health innovation funding for programmes that don't necessarily fit with what the Ministry of Health is looking for within the rigid, bureaucratic rounds. 

They'll be able to apply for this separate fund. 

That could provide the perfect solution for the likes of Gumboot Friday or the Mates in Construction programme, which have both struggled to get Government support - part of the reason the public has turned on the Government over mental health.