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Dave Macpherson: What is it about mental illness that causes the ‘authorities’ to be missing in action?

By   /  June 5, 2018  /  Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  5 Comments

Missing persons cases cause flurries of action and public conjecture from time to time; searches quite rightly swing into action the moment police and neighbours hear of missing children, or a senior that has disappeared from the local old folks home. But when the missing person is known to be mentally unwell, the concern is muted, and often the action is delayed and ineffective.

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Dave Macpherson – Massive growth in mental health ‘crisis contacts’ – likely to be nationwide

By   /  April 13, 2018  /  Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  23 Comments

The official response to this foreseeable crisis has been pathetic – a combination of denial and claims that the problems were under control. While former Minister Jonathan ‘Dr Death’ Coleman has now scarpered from Parliament (good riddance), the new Labour Minister of Health David Clark clearly has a hell of a lot of work yet to do to convince us that the mental health crisis is being properly dealt with.

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GUEST VLOG: Hadley Grace Robinson-Lewis – How to become a Registered Nurse

By   /  March 14, 2018  /  Guest Blogs + Sponsored Posts, Most Recent Blogs  /  Comments Off on GUEST VLOG: Hadley Grace Robinson-Lewis – How to become a Registered Nurse

I’m highly passionate about advocating for the mentally ill. My passion for assisting the underprivileged and those experiencing hardships in relation to mental illness has led me to charity work.

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Dave Macpherson – At Last – we hear from Mental Health Commissioner on Suicides….

By   /  March 5, 2018  /  Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  10 Comments

Not to be put off by the years-long public debate about this country leading youth suicide statistics from the wrong end, Commissioner Kevin Allan has bravely gone where no-one employed by the previous Government had hitherto dared to tread – he has actually (wait for it…) recommended a 10% reduction in suicides target! That’s correct – not zero, not halving it, not even the mild 20% reduction that the current Health Minister suggested while in opposition – but a nice, fat, round 10%.

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GUEST BLOG: Hadley Grace Robinson-Lewis – Mental Health Vlog

By   /  February 26, 2018  /  Guest Blogs + Sponsored Posts, Most Recent Blogs  /  1 Comment

I studied at the Auckland University of Technology where I completed a Bachelor of Health Science in Nursing. I’m Passionate about, Neurology, Psychiatry, Medicine, societal issues and Maori Health.

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David Macpherson – Who Speaks for the Families and Whanau?

By   /  February 19, 2018  /  Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  2 Comments

It’s coming up to three years since my son Nicky was a suicide victim while in the (compulsory) ‘care’ of the Waikato DHB, and I frequently reflect on the lack of voice families and whanau of mental health patients and suicide victims have.

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MENTAL HEALTH INQUIRY ANNOUNCED – WILL IT DELIVER? – David Macpherson

By   /  January 24, 2018  /  Martyn Bradbury, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  9 Comments

One of the most telling sections in the terms of reference is the recognition that underlying causes of poor mental health and suicide, such as poverty, poor housing, unemployment and discrimination will be considered as part of the Inquiry’s work – without that, such a review could easily descend into a debate between mental health professionals over issues like best levels of medication, or how many mental health beds there should be in hospitals, rather than looking at the factors that cause mental unwellness.

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Dave Macpherson: What’s the Red/Black/Green Government up to on mental health?

By   /  December 18, 2017  /  Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  9 Comments

If the Minister is ever to break out of the ‘Yes Minister’ straightjacket in mental health, he must turn to the community, to service users and to coalface mental health workers for his advice (and by that we don’t mean a raft of self-interested psychiatrists currently employed by DHBs around the country).

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Dave Macpherson – Cops the de facto mental health crisis go-to agency

By   /  November 6, 2017  /  Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  2 Comments

A young Greymouth man attempted suicide while in the midst of a possible cannabis-induced psychotic episode; but rather than a mental health crisis team arriving, Caleb – fighting for his life at that point – is attended by Police, who help resuscitate him and then find two cannabis plants in his back yard.

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David Macpherson: New Government needs new action on Mental Health & Suicide

By   /  October 24, 2017  /  Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  10 Comments

Still feeling a warm glow of satisfaction over Labour Weekend following the ousting of former Health Minister Jonathan Coleman, whose inaction on mental health and suicide was legendary, I was brought down to earth sharply by a story published on Labour Day about Jonny – a young male Christchurch suicide victim.

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Dave Macpherson: Strong bullying/suicide links?

By   /  October 4, 2017  /  Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  4 Comments

Two current Radio NZ stories in quick succession have shown the strong link between some suicides and bullying. In one, an MSD investigator wrongly told a beneficiary she had been overpaid $22,000 and that she would be prosecuted to recover the money – less than a day later she was a suicide victim, yet the MSD shortly afterwards told the victim’s mother that the claimed debt was incorrect, and it was eventually waived.

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606 Pairs of Shoes – Dave Macpherson

By   /  September 4, 2017  /  Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  6 Comments

Two days after two hikoi of 579 pairs of shoes (each) set off simultaneously from Cape Reinga and Bluff, bound for Parliament’s hallowed steps, the Chief Coroner announced the latest suicide figures for the 2017 financial year: 606.

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Media Statement form Waikato DHB Member: DHB deficit is real – It cannot all be ‘saved away’, Minister Coleman

By   /  September 1, 2017  /  Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  5 Comments

A Waikato DHB member has criticised his DHB’s Chair and the Minister of Health for claiming in media interviews that Waikato DHB will be returning a ‘break-even’ budget for the 2017/8 year.

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Public Statement on call by Prof Annette Beautrais for silence on Suicide

By   /  August 30, 2017  /  Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  4 Comments

The attitude of Professor Annette Beautrais, of Canterbury University, and a suicide prevention co-ordinator for the South Canterbury DHB, is one of the primary reasons why it has been so hard to change the culture of silence about suicide, where news of it, and issues about it are swept under the carpet.

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David Macpherson – WHAT WOULD A DECENT MENTAL HEALTH POLICY LOOK LIKE?

By   /  July 17, 2017  /  Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  12 Comments

Despite strong feedback from the public, political parties are still mostly shying clear from campaigning on mental health and suicide issues in the election campaign.

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Dave Macpherson: Mental Health staffing shortage PLUS culture deficit

By   /  July 4, 2017  /  Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  16 Comments

Mental health workforce shortage statistics published this week demonstrate a staffing deficit that will surprise no-one except Health Minister Jonathan Coleman. But what they don’t show is the major culture change needed within that workforce that will also be needed to make a real difference to the effectiveness of this country’s mental health system.

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