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DHB Mental Health Services Seek Funding From Gumboot Friday

Key to Life founder Mike King today called on Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to personally step in and sort out the appalling mess in Lakes DHB Mental Health Services for Youth.

“It is staggering and unacceptable that youth in Rotorua have no access to experienced counsellors, psychotherapists or senior psychologists,” said Mike King, Founder of Key to Life.org.

“Calling on the Prime Minister to intervene is not a step I’ve taken lightly. However, there is a crisis in the Lakes DHB Mental Health Services for Youth, with senior psychologists resigning to escape an underfunded and unsafe work environment.”

The founder of ‘I AM HOPE’ and ‘Gumboot Friday’ said their organisation had stepped in and funded cases in the Lakes DHB region, offering a glimmer of hope to mental health workers very thankful that there is a last-resort option when all else fails.

“Right now, there are significant gaps in mental health services for youth in Rotorua. It is time the Government step in and sort this mess out and ensure young people can access the Infant Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (ICAMHS) and the Crisis Assessment Treatment Team (CATT)”, said Mr King.

“When staff talk of parents in tears as they tried to call the so-called 24-hour Crisis Assessment Treatment Team but there’s no answer, the simple reality is that the system is failing Māori youth who are at risk of suicide,” said Mr King.

“The Prime Minister is one of the few people in New Zealand that with one phone call from her office, things actually happen, and problems get addressed. Until that happens, mental health workers in Lakes DHB will continue to pick up the pieces while families are left to grieve,” Mr King said.

Background Notes

  • I AM HOPE is the youth and community focused support group run by The Key to Life Charitable Trust, started by Mike King. For the last three years Key To Life have been promoting positive attitudinal societal change in schools and communities up and down the country, and funding private care and counselling for young people stuck-in-the-mud on waiting lists.
  • ICAMHS is a team of specialist health workers who provide very specific assessment and treatment for mental health related problems in children and young people, up to the age of 18.
  • The Mental Health and Addictions Service provides: an acute inpatient unit, 24-hour crisis assessment treatment team (CATT) at Rotorua Hospital

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