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Speaker: The stark reality: New Zealand no longer has a functioning Mental Health Service

10 Responses

  • Angela Hart,

    Thanks Kyle, for this post and for taking action to get the problems addressed. Most of us connect with the mental health system either directly or through loved ones, and we need a functional system. We lost a good friend to suicide through inadequate support for a known mental health issue.

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe,

    Christchurch mental health services, as has well-documented in the The Press, are also in crisis: overwhelmed and under-resourced.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report Reply

  • Moz,

    The juxtaposition of the Capture-Apocalypse picture with this post on the front page is strangely appropriate.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1233 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to ,


    I heard yesterday from a referring practitioner that they have gone under. Maybe grew too fast or something?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle MacDonald, in reply to Sacha,

    Capri has closed. Their clinical practices, especially with addictions and prescribing, were 'questionable'. They aren't a loss IMO.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 82 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    Until the government takes positive action

    Do any of them know what that means?
    Covering your arse by spouting BS, isnt a positive action.
    You listening govt peoples?
    Nah didnt think so...

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1891 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Kyle MacDonald,

    Here’s the Newshub story on Capri’s closure (they stopped taking inpatients two weeks ago).

    It’s hard to believe Capri even kept operating after this 2003 story:

    Revelations that a South Auckland pokie bar owner is also the director of a clinic offering gambling rehabilitation services reinforce the need to toughen up gaming laws, Green MP Sue Bradford says.

    Ms Bradford said Guy Leonard Smith, owner of Pokies Bar in Otahuhu, was operating a “gambling one-stop shop” by also providing gambling addiction rehabilitation services and a finance company.

    Mr Smith is the registered director of Capri Health Services, , describing itself as a private clinic “offering gambling rehabilitation services for $5000”, and Custom Credit Finance, which offers loans from an office next door to Pokies Bar.

    “It’s just the most astonishing integration of businesses, all making money out of gambling,” Ms Bradford said.

    In 2008 co-founder Tom Claunch admitted to being in a relationship with an outpatient client. He stepped down as director of rehab but remained a director of the clinic. So yeah, there were problems with that place for a long time.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Grant Taylor,

    This is bloody tragic. I was very lucky to have been part of the public mental health system as a Clinical Psychologist back in the 1980s when there was adequately provisioned inpatient care (not always very skillful or enlightened, eg the findings of the Mason Report, but adequately provisioned) and a visionary, idealistic and evidence-based implementation of the Community Mental Health model. My colleagues and I were often frustrated by the limited resources even then (mental health care has NEVER been funded in proportion to its prevalence or morbidity; don't get me started about heart disease and cancer) but we were proud of being part of a system that was by-and-large accessible and able to apply some secondary preventive interventions. Those now seem like Halcyon Days indeed - and not just because of the common use of benzodiazapines back then. There are many things that manifest the inhumane heartlessness of neoliberal political/economic philosophies but the neglect of mental health care, consumers of which are among the most vulnerable people in society, is foremost among them.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2012 • 24 posts Report Reply

  • Howard Edwards,

    "Talk therapy, expensive and time consuming as it is (from an accountant’s point of view) is pretty much always first to go ..."

    This is exactly what happened with the Family Court a few years ago. Couples experiencing relationship difficulties could attend up to six counselling sessions which could potentially save them a lot of stress and legal costs, but the Government cut the funding. The result - another rich-poor divide with only better off couples now able to afford private counselling.

    Albany • Since Apr 2013 • 66 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Got this by email:

    I have worked as a nurse in Mental health services since 2009. They have never had enough nursing staff, not to mention psychologists etc. They continue to rely on overtime (nursing staff working 50+ hours per week), and appear reluctant to employ new staff despite growing vacancies and expensive of overtime.

    The initiative to reduce seclusion numbers (which actually relied on increased staffing to actually work) meant a huge increase in assaults on staff members and subsequent burnout. Staff are becoming more inexperienced and the older, more experienced staff are being managed out due to the challenges they pose to management. In my past experience there is a lot of bullying from Charge Nurses to staff nurses and the expectation to "harden up". This is often reflected in our rostering systems which is not conducive to healthy lifestyles.

    I have personally used mental health services, in 2001 and more recently in 2014. The difference in 13 years is incredible. It is impossible to get an appointment with the MH community services and they seem unable to respond to a crisis appropriately.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

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