Cost Cutting Costs Lives

Press Release: New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists

22nd April, 2016

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The New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists supports calls for a nationwide enquiry into the Mental Health system, after more New Zealanders than ever before lost their lives to suicide last year.

The NZAP gathered this week for its annual conference in Hawkes Bay and heard first hand from local Iwi the impact that recent suicides has had on their community.

“What we hear from communities around the country, is that the mental health system is at breaking point and no longer providing timely treatment and intervention to those who need it most” says Kyle MacDonald, Psychotherapists Association Public Issues spokesperson. “Staff are under increasing pressure as demand for services continues to rise and resources are unable to meet that demand. And sadly this increasingly leads to preventable deaths.”

This week the Director of Mental Health released a report into the Waikato District Health Boards Mental Health services, prompted by the suicide of young man whilst in their care.

The report identified a number of shortcomings in the resourcing and staffing levels, and yet this same week the Minister of Health Jonathan Coleman released the “New Zealand Health Strategy” with no specific focus on mental health or our woefully high suicide rate.

“Mental illness is third only to heart disease and vascular disorders when it comes to negative health effects in New Zealand, yet this Government continues to underfund the health system and ignore the fact our levels of mental illness and suicide globally, are among the highest” says MacDonald. “I believe we’ve reached the point where funding alone will not solve the problem, and we support the Green Party and the Public Service Association’s calls for a nationwide enquiry into the functioning of the mental health system before we have more preventable deaths.”

Contact: Kyle MacDonald

021 708 689