New Zealand system failing mental health sufferers

TADS Host Aaron Dahmen believes the New Zealand health system is letting mental health patients down.

The comments come after a new study revealed an average of 12.6 people commit suicide per 100,000 every year, with the Maori population seeing an even further spike in numbers.

Critics argue the underfunded health system is simply unable to support many of the most vulnerable patients in the country to get better.

Speaking on TADS, Dahmen said mental health is often “diagnosed” as a medical condition, instead of being the instigator for a wider rehabilitation process.

“We are turning away those who need help the most.”

TADS News Editor Jason Renau said the social pressures of diagnosis are holding back the system from moving forward.

“We don’t want to be the ones who are accused of spreading rumours.”

“It is socially easier to keep a low profile, and just not say anything.”

When asked about the New Zealand health system in particular, Dahmen argued that the country does not have a true indication of how many are suffering from mental health.

“Our government has continued to dismiss the numbers put in front of them, and often, these numbers are far more.”

“We need to look for the reasons, not the results.”

Renau said “we can’t always be the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.”

“It’s not about trying to fix the people who are already broken, this is about finding out what’s causing people to break in the first place.”