Minister of Health: Stop cuts to funding for mental health services in Canterbury

Despite overwhelming demand, mental health services in Canterbury are in the firing line as the government attempts to cut nearly $140 million from health funding across the country. [1]

No Government spin about “reprioritizing” can change the fact that the services Canterbury residents rely on are going to be significantly cut back. The Canterbury District Health Board's funding for mental health in 2015 was $21 less per person than the national average. For the coming year, Canterbury’s funding is expected to drop by $15 per person, while the national average will increase by about $10.

News of these cuts comes just days after Christchurch was struck by another major earthquake. Experts say the latest quake will have been a major setback for the recovery of those already suffering quake-related mental health issues. [2]

We heard just last week that the Government are slowly moving on the issue with reports in The Press citing Health Minister Jonathan Coleman saying that he has officials looking into a multi-million dollar "extra package for mental health services" for Canterbury, in light of the Valentine's Day aftershock. [3]

No final decision has been made - and any extra funding would still need to be signed off by the minister and the cabinet. Email Jonathan Coleman to support to tell him to stop cuts to funding for mental health services in Canterbury.

References:

  1. Canterbury's mental health funding to be cut, Stuff.co.nz, February 16 2016

  2. Earthquake stress triggers mental health issues, The Press, May 25 2015

  3. Millions of dollars promised for mental health fight, The Press, March 4 2016



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