Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Mental health comes up short

Mental health comes up short

Green MP Sue Bradford said she is concerned an audit of District Health Board mental health services laid blame for failing services on staff shortages when it found they were not delivering services to their contracted obligations.

The Green Party Mental Health spokesperson said problems with attracting and keeping staff lay in poor pay rates compared to other essential services.

Ms Bradford points out the salary disparity between frontline police, who can expect more than $40,000 a year when they start, and frontline mental health workers, who start on $28,000, must be addressed.

"Why is there such a difference between police and mental health, when a mental health worker trains for a significantly longer period and, more often than not, is dealing with the same people as police would face in violent or disturbing situations," said Ms Bradford.

"To dismiss the problems as due to staff shortages is a whitewash. There is an obvious need to attract and keep quality staff through better pay and conditions across the board."

"I view the situation with deep concern that DHBs appear to be withholding money to mental health and not delivering services to their contracted obligations, considering the dire straits in which the sector finds itself continually," said Ms Bradford.

Ms Bradford expressed concern that NGO services were not given compensation for population growth and cost increases, when DHB funding reflected these changes.

"I know that these groups are having a very hard time trying to deliver their services, and this just makes it harder. It is sheer madness that they miss out, while the DHBs hoard their funding and blame a lack of staff for their inactivity.

"The money should be spent in two ways: one is to adequately fund the NGOs who provide around 23 per cent of mental health services these days, and the other should be to pay the staff properly and in a way that attracts and keeps quality people on the job and in New Zealand."

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news