Rural mental health funding good, but rest of country needs a boost too

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The Public Service Association (PSA) welcomes today’s announcement of $500,000 extra funding for mental health initiatives that target rural communities, but wants to see a funding boost for others as well.

The PSA is the mental health union, representing thousands of workers in the public service, DHBs and the community sector.

Erin Polaczuk, PSA national secretary, said “The funding is a welcome step towards addressing the unique mental health needs of rural communities,”

“Mental health is significantly underfunded right across the country with further investment sorely needed.

“It is vital that all New Zealanders are able to access quality public healthcare when they need it, but this is not currently the case for many in the mental health system.

“The Government’s systemic underfunding is causing problems across the sector, from cash-strapped NGOs to hospitals overloading mental health staff with unsustainable workloads.

“Targeted initiatives like this rural mental health funding must sit alongside a comprehensive plan to adequately fund the entire health sector.

“Our most vulnerable citizens deserve our greatest care and support, regardless of where they live,” said Erin Polaczuk.