Mental health and addictions issues are affecting people across New Zealand from the student studying away from home, to the mother suffering from post-natal depression, to the farmer experiencing tough times.
This isn’t about happiness – we’re the 8th happiest country in the world after all. But we are also the 14th in the world for rates of alcohol consumption and suicide. Even worse, the suicide rate for our 15-24 year olds is the highest in the world. It seems like the system that is supposed to be there for us when we’re struggling isn’t working well enough.
There are so many numbers and heaps of information about the mental health and addictions challenges we are facing as a country (you can read some of them in our fact sheets on the resources page). We’ve heard countless personal stories from people from all walks of life about times they’ve needed help and often the help is not there, it’s not the right type of help or they’re not yet ‘bad enough’ to qualify for the help. (There are links to some of those stories on our info page).
The reasons why are really complicated and the answers aren’t easy either. But it's time for our political leaders to tell us what they plan to do to make mental health and addictions their priority.
We’re saying it’s important to all of us, that it matters to us. And we want our leaders to tell us it matters to them!