I was chatting to a friend via Facebook this morning. My friend is one that dedicates some of his time (voluntary) to Helpline.
Helpline provides free 24 hour health assistance for people
with issues such as depression, bullying and suicidal thoughts. I am keen to perhaps get involved in the future.
So, this morning he told me that the Government is withdrawing funding, so Helpline only has enough money to run for another 6-12 months. This was a real surprise because New Zealand has some of the highest suicide rates in the world.
So Helpline is doing everything possible to stay afloat. The New Zealand Government has very much increased the amount of money put into roading. Our road toll is far to high.
Here is some statistics for you. If you look at current figures, the Government is putting over $600,000 per person saved from road death or serious injury – about 900 people over 10 years. In that time, based on current figures , over 5000 may die from suicide . I know it’s not really a positive conversation, but these are obviously the facts. So you would think that they would be prepared to invest more money for them wouldn’t you ?
Government says it has increased mental health spending by 300 million over the last 7-8 years, which is an impressive figure. They say that helpline will be replaced with other resources, but will these resources be able to fill this role ?
Only time will tell I guess… I’ll watch this space.