A people's review into mental health has found that New Zealand's mental health system is at such a boiling point, a full-scale independent inquiry is needed.
Lucy McSweeney has started a petition calling for more mental health in high schools.
Psychotherapist Kyle MacDonald has been collating personal stories of New Zealanders' struggles as part of the people's review of the mental health system.
"If the government weren't going to carry out a review, we'd carry out our own," Mr MacDonald says.
More than 500 people submitted their experiences of dealing with mental health issues.
Mr MacDonald says there'll be no surprises in what the group found when the report is released this week.
"There's lots of red flags, lots of problems, and lots of areas of the system are overwhelmed," Mr MacDonald said.
"Really clear effects in terms of the big tragic stories of preventable deaths, but also long waiting times for people, particularly for access of therapy services."
These long waiting times can be up to six months in some cases.
"When acute services in particular are being overwhelmed, it's really understandable that what they are essentially doing is picking up the problems of not being able to access help earlier," said Mr MacDonald.
Police feeling the pressure
Police are also feeling the pressure, with statistics showing they deal with 90 mental health-related issues every 24 hours.
In the last year, they were called out over 45,000 times, 5,000 than the year before.
Statistics from the Health Quality and Safety Commission show the number of outpatients who commit suicide is increasing.
In 2016, there were 142 outpatient suicides, compared to 125 in 2015.
There were 579 suicides declared by the coroner last year.
Calls for independent inquiry
The people's review will make a number of recommendations and says the mental health is at such a boiling point, a full-scale independent inquiry is needed.
"We're starting to hear some of the stories over and over again, of services failing, frustration and preventable deaths," Mr MacDonald said.
"I think we need to look at the system as a whole, rather than DHB by DHB inquiries, where it's hard to know whether those changes are being implemented."
But Mental Health director John Crawford says an inquiry is not the answer.
"Services are working very hard to make changes and improvements," Mr Crawford said.
"We wouldn't want any external process to distract or detract from the gains that people are making."
Reducing stigma around mental illness
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has released a draft suicide prevention strategy.
Some of the ideas include reducing the stigma around suicide and mental illness and increasing support for families.
Dr Coleman says an extra $300 million has been pumped into the mental health system.
"Money on its own is not going to fix the system, even though underfunding has caused the problems, we've now got some pretty systemic issues around the country," Mr MacDonald said.
Getting politicians, young people, the public, and the sector to talk about mental health is not always easy.
So all agree that any new, innovative ideas that can get people care early on is welcome.
Where can I get support and help from?
Below is a list of some of the services available which offer support, information and help. All services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week unless otherwise specified.
Lifeline 24/7 – 0800 543 354
Kidsline (aimed at children up to 18 years of age, available 24/7) – 0800 54 37 54
Depression Helpline (24/7) - 0800 111 757
Healthline - 0800 611 116
Samaritans - 0800 726 666 (for callers from the Lower North Island, Christchurch and West Coast) or 0800 211 211 / (04) 473 9739 (for callers from all other regions)
Youthline - 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
What's Up (for 5-18 year olds; 1 pm to 11 pm) - 0800 942 8787
www.depression.org.nz - includes The Journal online help service
www.thelowdown.co.nz - visit the website, email email@example.com or free text 5626. This is a 24/7 service.