Suicide data fuels fresh call for probe

by Martin Johnston, New Zealand Herald, 18 November 2016

Mr Johnston reports that Julie Anne Genter, the Greens health spokesperson, has again called for a national inquiry into mental health services, following the release of the Ministry of Health’s annual report on mental health. She said:

“The data shows mental health services are under pressure across the country. That is consistent with stories from staff and people seeking to access mental health services.”

The ministry’s director of mental health, Dr John Crawshaw, said progress had been made on suicide prevention, but not enough.

“Suicide rates in New Zealand generally had been decreasing but more recently they’ve plateaued and that’s not good enough.

“This trend is also reflected in the rates for those accessing mental health services. The statistics are still too high and collectively, we all need to do more.”

The Auckland DHB said that at any one time it has more than 6800 people receiving care from mental health and addiction services provided or funded by the DHB.

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Care Alliance comment: it is deeply ironic and regrettable that the Greens are simultaneously campaigning on remedying flaws in the public mental health system and advocating publicly provided euthanasia. Those two things do not go together.

Where to get help

• Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)

• Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)

• Youth services: (06) 3555 906 (Palmerston North and Levin)

• Youthline: 0800 376 633

• Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)

• Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)

• Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)

• Samaritans: 0800 726 666 (available 24/7)

If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.