Teen's fight to keep 24 hour mental health service in Nelson reaches Parliament

A Nelson teenager's fight to retain a dedicated 24-hour mental health service for young people in her city has been taken to Parliament.

Zoe Palmer, 18, presented her petition, with 2278 signatures, to Green MP Gareth Hughes and Labour MP Paul Eagle on Parliament's steps this morning.

As she handed over the petition, Ms Palmer touched on all the people back home she was representing.

"On behalf of the young people of Nelson and community, parents, caregivers, whanau, teachers of Nelson I'd like to present this petition of 2280 signatures to retain specialists in our crisis team," Ms Palmer said.

She has asked the petition be handed onto Health Minister David Clark and hopes she will be granted the opportunity to meet him face-to-face to discuss the matter.

Nelson Marlborough DHB is moving to an all-ages after-hours crisis team, which it says will allow its specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health team "to be more available and responsive the following day to connect with and support our young people and families".

Ms Palmer says the changes are "a backwards step" and wants to stress the importance of specialised care for young people around the clock.

The Ministry of Health is currently reviewing the DHB’s decision on the restructure.

Zoe Palmer presented her petition, with 2278 signatures, to Green MP Gareth Hughes on Parliament steps today. Source: 1 NEWS