Mike King on mental health

Mike King writes:

Is anybody else confused by the shortage of mental health counselling services around the country right now?

Over the past six months, we have seen a steady flow of alarming media stories highlighting the chronic shortfalls in mental health services, including but not limited to underfunded services, excruciating wait times of up to 12 months and burn-out by mental health professionals.

As someone who stood alongside the Prime Minister at a press conference and defended the Government from attacks by the opposition parties, going on record to say that “this Government has done more in six months than the last government did in nine years”, I am disappointed and embarrassed by the state of mental health support today.

He was the poster guy for the Govt on the mental health reforms, sharing the podium with Jacinda. And now he regrets it.

It seems to me that the well-worn catch cry of our Prime Minister to “go hard, go early” – at least in the eyes of the Ministry of Health, applies to everything except the lives of young New Zealanders.

It is as if just announcing reviews isn’t enough.

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