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July 24, 2017 | by  | in Politics |
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The Party Line

It should be no leap of logic at this point to assert that an increasing proportion of the population is struggling with mental health issues — the Mental Health Foundation New Zealand found that the number of people trying to access mental health services has steadily increased since at least 2013. In the rainbow community these issues are even more acute, and there is a consensus within the UniQ executive that it is easier to find fellow queers who are mentally ill than aren’t. The last few years have not seen mental health adequately addressed, with waitlists growing and services like Christchurch Rape Crisis closing due to lack of funding. Do you think the 2017 Budget’s $224 million injection is enough funding for the next four years for mental health to accommodate an ever-rising demand and prevent additional closures?


Young Nats — Lower North Island

Budget 2017 brought about a $3.18 billion investment into the health sector and the Young Nats fully support the $224 million injection component of this into the mental health sector.

If we break down this funding: $100 million will be invested into early intervention, $100 million into direct DHB funding, ringfenced specifically for mental health, and the remainder going towards individual projects such as supporting mental health patients into stable work or providing assistance to prisoners at risk of self-harm.

What this cash injection shows is that the National government is serious about tackling mental health issues, and by coupling it alongside the social investment approach being spearheaded by this current government, they are making major inroads by targeting those most in need of support and providing funds and assistance to community organisations, groups, and programs providing the best outcomes for Kiwis.

— Sam Stead


Vic Labour

Mental health is a serious issue for many New Zealanders and is something that Labour is committed to doing more about.

Labour has announced a couple of policies with the goal of reducing harm and improving the livelihoods of all New Zealanders. We have a plan to introduce pilot mental health teams into communities across the country to work with GPs, PHOs, and DHBs to provide frontline access to people in need.

Further to this, Labour is committed to extending school-based public health services to every public secondary school in the country. This will provide teenagers with access to well-trained health professionals. Evidence shows that early intervention works, and having health professionals in secondary schools will lead to better outcomes.

Labour is committed to finding a solution that actually works, rather than simply throwing money at the problem and hoping it goes away.

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About the Author ()

Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

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