Stacey Kirk: Politics, money and lives – Govt torn three ways on mental health
OPINION: By the time the Government delivers its verdict on a sweeping mental health inquiry next year, 150-odd people might have killed themselves.
That’s going by New Zealand’s average suicide rate, which has increased steadily every year for the past four years.
It’s the most visceral reminder of a mental health service in crisis. And yet it’s only the symptom of a much wider issue at the heart of the inquiry’s report – that there is a massive gap in services at the lower to middle end of the mental illness spectrum.
The Government released the report on Tuesday, but Health Minister David Clark confirmed there would be no response to the 40 recommendations until next year, just ahead of the May Budget.