9 May 2018

Lack of funding behind Northland suicides - health boss

From Morning Report, 7:50 am on 9 May 2018

A Hokianga Health manager says the number of suspected suicides in his community is linked to a lack of mental health and social services. John Wiggleworth is the chief executive of the Hokianga Health Enterprise Trust, set up 25 years ago to run Rawene Hospital and GP services in the district. He says the latest suspected suicide - that of a recently-released prisoner who needed mental health support but couldn't get it in Hokianga - is a very sad one. He says the Trust doesn't have a psychologist, though the GPs it employs do get some funding from the Tai Tokerau PHO to offer counselling. But the Hokianga health chief told RNZ Northland reporter Lois Williams the funding's nowhere near enough to meet demand in an isolated area and there've been three suspected suicides already this year.