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Denial of mental health crisis cast shadow over funding

Denial of mental health crisis cast shadow over extra funding

The Government's continued denial of a mental health crisis casts a shadow over today's funding announcement, health funding coalition sats,

Prime Minister Bill English announced extra funding on Three’s AM Show this morning.

Mr English gave no details of the increase and ruled out an independent review. campaign coordinator Simon Oosterman says the announcement was more about politics than health.

"The Government wants to be seen to be taking action, but in real terms this will only restore the money they have cut from mental health since 2009," he says.

"We urgently need to meet today and tomorrow's need, but money on its own isn't enough."

"An independent review would identify how much we need, where those funds are best spent and what systemic failures allowed the crisis to develop."

Mr English told the AM Show the Government "can always do more" - but Mr Oosterman says this Government "has always done less".

"This government has knowingly underfunded health by more than $1.85 billion.

"Funding hasn't kept up with our growing and ageing population and increased mental health needs.

"This is why people threatening suicide aren't seen as urgent and nine in 10 mental health workers feel under-resourced."

Oosterman says restoring funding that was needed eight years ago won't help the New Zealanders who needlessly suffered in that time.

"It certainly does nothing for the record number of people suspected of committing suicide while in mental health care in that time," he says.


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