Support for Govt mental health inquiry

Long Lunch 25/01/2018
Credit: File.

On Tuesday Jacinda Ardern announced the Government's decision to open a mental health inquiry, a key election promise looking into mental health and addiction.

The inquiry has been criticised for the time it will take as well as its $6.5 million budget.

But one man who has been calling for this inquiry is Dave McPherson. His son Nicky died in 2015.

Mr McPherson told RadioLIVE's Wendyl Nissen he's glad there will finally be an inquiry.

"We were aware that the government was working on this behind the scenes and we've seen some of the terms of reference but it's always handy to have it confirmed publicly at an ironclad way that can't be gone back on," he said.

The inquiry will be advised by a range of panels, including a lived experience panel and a youth advisory panel.

Mr McPherson's son Nicky had experienced issues during his teenage years. 

"He was on the books of the local DHB's mental health services

"He had an attempted suicide which put him in hospital," he told RadioLIVE.

"They let him out [of Waikato hospital] on unescorted leave for a cigarette. That's what they do at all hospitals pretty much around the country."

"And he disappeared and his body was found in the [Waikato] river three days later," he said.

Mr McPherson says his family was shattered by the care given by the DHB.

"Thinking they [the DHBs] know best is quite often heated problem with people with mental illness in their families."

"I bitterly regret and our whole family does that we didn't go into the hospital and take him out.

"We could have given him better care," he told RadioLIVE.

But Mr McPherson says this inquiry will help.

The thing that's most important is that we stop this happening to other people and other families in the country.

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs immediate help, call Lifeline on 0800 543 354, the Suicide Prevention Helpline on 0508 828 865, Healthline on 0800 611 116 or Youthline at 0800 376 633.

If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.

Listen to the full interview with Dave McPherson above. 

Afternoon Talk with Wendyl Nissen, 12pm - 3pm on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.