Billboards highlighting the fact that most New Zealanders want an inquiry into the public mental health system have sprung up overnight in the Health Minister’s Northcote electorate.
Community campaign group ActionStation have claimed credit for the covert action after Health Minister Jonathan Coleman dismissed the recommendations from The People’s Mental Health Review which the group released earlier this year.
“After we released the report of the People’s Mental Health Review, Minister Coleman refused to take action” said ActionStation co-director and report author, Marianne Elliott.
“Instead he dismissed the 500 people who submitted stories of their experience of the mental health system and the 10,000 people who supported the report’s’ recommendations as ‘anti-government protesters’.”
“Polling proves the opposite is true – the vast majority of New Zealanders want an inquiry into the public mental health system and these billboards are designed to remind the Minister of that”
The signs satirise National Party’s billboards and feature an image of Minister Coleman with the slogan ‘77% of Kiwis want a mental health inquiry (But not me) – Dr Jonathan Coleman, Minister of Health’.
Independent polling conducted by Colmar Brunton for ONE News released in June showed 77% of New Zealanders think there is a need for an independent inquiry into mental health and support services in New Zealand.
Earlier polling conducted by UMR in May showed only 1 in 10 New Zealanders thought the Government was doing enough for mental health system.
“It’s clear that our mental health system is currently under strain and desperately needs more funding. The Government’s current hands-off approach isn’t working. It’s time the Minister is reminded of his responsibility to do more to save lives,” concludes Elliott.