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Nelson Teen Takes Mental Health Campaign to Parliament

July 10th 2018

Nelson teenager Zoe Palmer takes her campaign to stop the restructuring of the city’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) to Parliament this week.

Zoe, 18, will present her petition calling for the 24-hour dedicated CAMHS crisis service to be kept intact to Green MP Gareth Hughes and Labour MP Paul Eagle at Parliament on Thursday morning.

The petition that has been signed by 2278 people will be handed to the MPs on Parliament’s forecourt at 8.30am. https://our.actionstation.org.nz/petitions/save-the-camhs-crisis-team

Zoe hopes the MPs will pass the petition onto Health Minister David Clark who ordered a review of the decision to restructure the service following a united call for him to intervene from the Nelson representatives of the National, Labour, Green and NZ First parties.

The meeting has been organised by the Green and Labour Parties’ Nelson representatives Matt Lawrey and Rachel Boyack, respectively, as David Clark’s office has yet to respond to a letter from Zoe requesting a meeting to present the Minister with her petition. The letter was sent on June 24. NZ First and National have also been invited to send MPs to the handover.

Despite the lack of a response from David Clark's office, Zoe is still hoping to meet the Minister.

“I want to meet face-to-face with Minister Clark so he can hear from someone who knows first-hand how important CAMHS is to Nelson's young people and why the changes that are being driven through right now, despite the review, are such a backwards step,” she said.

Support from Swarbrick

In her efforts to meet with Minister Clark, Zoe has received support from one of her personal heroes, 24-year-old Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick.

Chlöe, in her capacity as the Green Party’s Youth spokesperson, has written to Minister Clark to encourage for him “to meet and engage with Zoe on this important issue.”

In the letter she praises Zoe for “running an awesome, grass-roots campaign" and says that many people “believe that the move to amalgamate the Nelson CAMHS crisis team with the adult team runs contrary to the direction the government has signalled when it comes to youth mental health.”







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