Greens say mental health services in NZ strained beyond capacity

The Green Party is calling for better mental health services at the start of Mental Health Awareness Week.

Its MP, Chloe Swarbrick, said New Zealand needs to end the stigma that still surrounds mental illness.

She said the Greens will push for more services including free counselling for under 25s, more funding for 24/7 helplines, child and adolescent services and youth beds.

She has spent time looking at services in tertiary education and found many young people are faced with lengthy delays in seeing mental health specialists.

"At all eight campuses that I went to bar one there were reports of anywhere between two to six, sometimes eight week wait times for mental health services."

Ms Swarbrick said the mental health services in this country are strained beyond capacity.

Where to get help relating to mental health:

Lifeline: 0800 543 354 or text HELP to 4357

Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 / 0508 TAUTOKO (24/7). This is a service for people who may be thinking about suicide, or those who are concerned about family or friends.

Need to Talk? Free call or text 1737 any time to speak to a trained counsellor, for any reason.

Depression Helpline: 0800 111 757 (24/7)

Samaritans: 0800 726 666 (24/7)

Youthline: 0800 376 633 (24/7) or free text 234 (8am-12am), or email

Healthline: 0800 611 116

Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155

Mental health awareness week starts next week and Ms Swarbrick was on Wellington’s Cuba Street talking about the issue. Source: 1 NEWS