'Not only a life lost, but a community shattered' - Jacinda Ardern's heartfelt mental health plea




Labour Party deputy leader Jacinda Ardern made a heartfelt plea around mental health issues at Labour's election year congress in Wellington today.

About 400 party faithful packed into Te Papa to hear Jacinda Ardern make her first big speech as deputy leader.
Source: 1 NEWS

Ms Ardern was nearly in tears as she recounted the death of a friend.

"I was only 13-years-old when my best friend’s brother took his own life.

"Behind every single entry in the suicide statistics lies not only a life lost, but a community shattered," she said.

Mental health issues are fast becoming a major election issue and Labour hopes to address it by pledging $40 million to roll out youth health teams in every school.

Ms Ardern also reached out to younger voters around the rising inequality in society.

"Generation Y have been the ones to watch inequality rise," she said.

"They have been the ones to watch poverty rise and they will be the ones who’ll see it compound even further as those who have, become those who inherit."

The congress also raised youth issues around those here on student and work visas, with Labour Leader Andrew Little looking to slash those by the tens of thousands.

"There are student visas being issued to students doing courses that aren’t high value, and that’s where we will target," he said.

Mr Little will be giving his full address to the Labour congress as it continues tomorrow.

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