Mental Health Foundation facing staff cuts from Govt funding squeeze

The PSA says it’s appalling in a mental health crisis that one of the key agencies funded by the Government is proposing to shed a fifth of its staff.

The Mental Health Foundation is considering laying off 10 staff saying its funding from the Government has not kept pace with inflation.

“How can this be happening when we know we have a mental health crisis, when this Government has made it a priority to tackle this problem by appointing the first dedicated Minister for Mental Health?” said Kerry Davies, National Secretary for the Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi.

“Just two weeks ago we learnt that Government funding cuts had resulted in the proposed disbanding of Suicide Prevention Office operating out of the Ministry of Health – thankfully this has been reversed for now, though the PSA still has no clear idea whether it will remain fully staffed and fully funded.

“The Mental Health Foundation provides support and resources for those facing the loss of their job, so it’s wrong in the very week the Government adds another 1000 jobs to its tally of cuts, that this is happening.

“The PSA calls on the Government to stop its reckless funding cuts going so much wider and deeper into the community.

Stuff reports that other charities supporting food banks, alcohol counselling, support for the elderly and other critical community services are also struggling to secure funding for the next financial year to cover cost increases.

“If the Government is serious about frontline services including those delivered in communities through charities, we need to see a commitment to increased funding at the rate of inflation at least and a commitment to long term investment in these agencies.

“The PSA says the Government can end the uncertainty for these charities today – give an assurance ahead of next month’s Budget now.

“How can $15 billion of tax cuts for landlords and others be a priority over properly funding charities doing such vital work? This Government’s priorities are all wrong,” said Kerry Davies.

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