Two Dunedin women are set to speak in Parliament today (Wednesday) to further press for a national inquiry into the country’s mental health system.

Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust chairwoman Corinda Taylor, along with Denise Kent, will return to Parliament on Wednesday to speak on behalf of a 1740-signature petition they presented to Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox in November last year.

Mrs Taylor, who lost her son Ross to suicide, said an inquiry was needed because of the overwhelming demand on mental health services and people missing out on help they desperately needed.

“People lose hope when they go and ask for help and don’t get help.”

The chance for Life Matters representatives to speak in Parliament comes less than two weeks after comedian and suicide prevention advocate Mike King stepped down from the Government’s suicide-prevention panel amid concerns a target to reduce the number of suicides in New Zealand had been removed from the Government’s draft suicide prevention plan.

Southern District Health Board Allied Health director Karen Ramsey told The Star in the “Troubled young minds” feature last week that while SDHB was providing “pretty good” services to clients with “high-end” mental health issues, people in the “mild to moderate bracket” needed more support, which the health board hoped to work on.

Mrs Taylor said the petition collectors had heard “heartbreaking” stories while collecting signatures, and the Life Matters representatives would be “pleading” with the Government to “do the right thing” when they spoke in Parliament next week.

“If this was your child . . . how would you feel?”

For help
Lifeline: 800 543-354
Depression Helpline (8am-midnight): 800 111-757
Healthline: 800 611-116
Samaritans: 800 726-666
Suicide Crisis Helpline: 508 828-865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
Youthline: 800 376-633, free-text 234 or email
What’s Up (for 5-18-year-olds; 1pm-11pm): 800 942-8787
Kidsline (for children up to 14; 4pm-6pm weekdays): 0800 543-754 (0800 KIDSLINE)