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Mental health inquiry needed: report

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 5 days ago

<span style="font-size:13px;">A report detailing hundreds of Kiwi's experiences using and working in mental health services has called for an inquiry into the sector.</span> © Dominic Lipinski/ PA Wire A report detailing hundreds of Kiwi's experiences using and working in mental health services has called for an inquiry into the sector. New Zealand's mental health system is failing, according to more than 90 per cent of respondents to a crowd-funded report released on Wednesday.

The People's Mental Health Review is based on stories by 500 Kiwis about their experiences with the mental health system, and says an inquiry into the sector and funding boost is urgently needed.

It also called for an independent body to be set up to provide ongoing oversight.

Championed by comedian Mike King and psychotherapist Kyle MacDonald, the report included 464 stories by people frustrated at using or working in mental health services, while only 36 reported positive experiences.

Mr MacDonald said the grassroots team had put the report together, after partnering with crowd-funding website ActionStation to raise money, because the government failed to acknowledge there was a problem.

Green Party health spokeswoman Julie Anne Genter has backed the report's findings.

She said National had eroded $1.7 billion in funding from the sector and an inquiry was the only way to get to the bottom of issues with the system.

The report included stories from 276 people using mental health services, 78 working in the sector and 154 family members of people using or working in mental health.

A key problem reported by those using or wanting to use mental health services was difficulty accessing the right service fast enough and a desire for more treatments that did not involve medication.

They also found it difficult to report bad experiences and hold mental health providers to account for poor services.

Twenty-three per cent of all stories in the report also told of people in the sector being overworked and stressed.

The report also called for a broader approach in which greater effort was made to improve community factors affecting mental health, such as poverty, unemployment, discrimination and loneliness.

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