18 May 2022

Mental health advocate concerned funding will not reach young people

5:13 pm on 18 May 2022

A mental health service is concerned those who experience the worst inequality will not benefit from more government funding.

No caption

Photo: RNZ / Vinay Ranchhod

Budget 2022, set to be revealed on Thursday, will include $100 million in new spending on specialist mental health and addiction services.

However, Lifewise Youth Housing's Aaron Hendry said the funding would not reach many of the rangatahi he worked with.

"They still are unable to access most of those services, a lot of the services that exist aren't designed to meet their needs and don't understand their needs.

"Situations where you have to do a referral and a young person doesn't turn up and you're off the books and you've got to start again."

A more holistic approach was needed to ensure vulnerable young people had food and housing, the foundations of good mental health, he said.

Minister of Health Andrew Little said the funding would mean that young people will be better supported.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs