Green Party demands review into mental health services

New Zealand Herald, 17 April 2016

The Green Party is demanding further investigation of mental health services in the wake of what it calls a “damning review” of the Waikato District Health Board’s psychiatric care.

Green Party health spokesman Kevin Hague said today, “Mental health services in DHBs are under-resourced and the minister’s slow erosion of budgets has stretched services past breaking point. Families around the country need to know that mental health services are able to do their job.”

He says the Director of Mental Health, Dr John Crawshaw, was compelled to investigate Waikato’s services after incidents, including the death of Nicky Stevens.

“The minister needs to launch an urgent nationwide inquiry into mental health services following systemic failures that the Crawshaw report confirmed.

“Factors such as cost cutting across the health system, understaffing, high levels of change within the sector, and increased demand are national issues, and demand a nationwide response.

The article goes on to quote Scout Barbour-Evans of the group Stop the Cuts to Southern Mental Health that a lack of funding means people are only getting help when they’re in an absolute crisis, instead of preventative care.

Ms Barbour-Evans said mental health cuts are another layer of oppression to people who have fought for a voice for years.

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