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Worsening mental health despite millions more

Dr Jonathan Coleman
National Party Associate Health Spokesman (Mental Health)

3 August 2006

Worsening mental health despite millions more dollars

The mental health of New Zealanders is getting worse despite millions more in government funding, says Dr Jonathan Coleman, National's Associate Health spokesman responsible for mental health.

"Hospitalisations for attempted suicides are a good indicator of the mental health of the nation, and the reality is that they have gone up by almost 20% since Labour came into power.

"What is particularly concerning is that hospitalisations for suicide attempts by young women have rocketed by 45% over the same period.

"The money being spent is not making the difference you'd expect. Too much of it is badly targeted and not getting to the people who need the support."

Dr Coleman is commenting as the Government continues to talk up its 10-year 'action plan' for mental health, Te Kokiri, and an emphasis on prevention.

"It's all spin and waffle. The specifically listed action for promotion and prevention in the Government's new 10-year mental health plan is to spend three years reviewing the strategic framework, to develop a new framework, to develop a plan, to set out a strategy.

"Suicide attempt statistics represent measurable outcomes in mental health, and by that criteria this Government is failing the public," says Dr Coleman.

ENDS

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