22 May 2019

Family of Nicky Stevens says meeting with PM worthwhile

8:40 pm on 22 May 2019

The family of Nicky Stevens, who died after failings in his care by the Waikato District Health Board say their meeting the Prime Minister on Wednesday was worthwhile.

Jane Stevens and Dave Macpherson.

Jane Stevens and Dave Macpherson. Photo: RNZ

The 21-year-old was found dead in the Waikato River three days after he walked out of Waikato Hospital's mental health unit in 2015.

A Coroner ruled a preventable suicide, but the DHB has questioned the findings and has called for another Coroner to re look at the case.

The family has been devastated by this and went to see Prime Minister Jacinda Adern.

Jane Stevens said they went in hoping sense would prevail and she believes some progress was made.

Nicky Stevens

Nicky Stevens Photo: Give a Little

She said the Prime Minister can not interfere in any coronial process but was pleased the family is meeting with the new Waikato DHB Commissioner, Karen Poutasi on Thursday.

Ms Stevens said there is a much clearer picture of the issues facing people engaging with mental health services and what needs to change.

She said once her family can achieve some sort of closure they can then focus on helping other families affected by mental health issues.

Ms Stevens said the government needs to understand the horror of what is happening to families like hers.

She said her family is just one example of many where all the processes are stacked against them and where there is no support.

Where to get help:

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

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.

Depression Helpline: 0800 111 757 (24/7) or text 4202

Samaritans: 0800 726 666 (24/7)

Youthline: 0800 376 633 (24/7) or free text 234 (8am-12am), or email talk@youthline.co.nz

What's Up: online chat (3pm-10pm) or 0800 WHATSUP / 0800 9428 787 helpline (12pm-10pm weekdays, 3pm-11pm weekends)

Kidsline (ages 5-18): 0800 543 754 (24/7)

Rural Support Trust Helpline: 0800 787 254

Healthline: 0800 611 116

Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155

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