"Can we just make a change, please?" - Bryce asks Jacinda Ardern for more mental health funding

The Morning Rumble 28/07/2021

"Can we just make a change, please?"

During an interview with Jacinda Ardern, Bryce asked the PM what do we need to do to get more funding and more money for the counseling required for people who need help with their mental health.

Here's the transcript of the chat below.

Bryce: Prime Minister, I know you're busy person, right, you have a lot of questions of a lot of things. I didn't tell these guys I was going to ask this, but I'm just thinking of it and I wanted to say it while we're here. You always give us great time, and we appreciate that.

I know it doesn't work like this, right, because there's so many processes. But can I just ask, from someone who gets sent a lot of messages on Instagram, I don't know what it takes to happen, but can we please just give more money somehow to have more funding to have more people get the counseling that they require?

Whether that's through Gumboot Friday, whether it's through whatever, I get so many heavy messages all of the time. I know there's processes, and there's funding, and there's "apply for this and apply for that". But to be honest, a lot of it just sounds like a lot of crap - and not from you. I'm not saying you’re saying crap. I'm saying crap in general. 

I just want it to be a lot easier. Kids are killing themselves. Adults are killing themselves. Adults are trying. There are families - and I've experienced it personally. I just don't want it anymore, or at least as possible.

Can we just make a change, please? 

Jacinda: And I get the same messages. And so I have the same sense of urgency around it as you guys. Absolutely. And if it were just a matter of money, then it would be an issue that anyone would have solved yesterday.

But it's not. You know, one of the issues that we have and the last time I sat down with our team and said what can we do to, you know, to deal with the wait times people are experiencing, what can we do to improve people's access to crisis care?

One of the problems we have is we don't have enough people working in mental health, and that is one of our many problems. And so we are doing what we can. And this is why every time I talk to you, you hear me talk about what we're trying to do to build a new service that’s earlier so that we get people before we reach crisis.

It also is because that's how we train people quicker as well. You know, a psychologist takes years, and we started this funding into mental health in 2019, we haven't even been able to train some of the new workforce we need to build the services we need.

So it is - what can we do in the meantime? What can we do to keep growing and expanding and preventing people hitting crisis?

So please know - I hear you, and we are doing what we can. But if there were simple fixes, I tell you, I would have found them by now because I keep looking.

But we will keep working on it.

Bryce: Well, I appreciate you answering. And all I know is that there's, you know, old mate, our mate (Mike King) is saying they've got people ready to go that want to help people who try and take the burden off. 

If we can make that happen, let’s make it happen.

I know you're pushed for time and stuff. 

Jacinda: We're still working with Mike and his team. 

Bryce: Good. Well, that's what we want to hear. 

Jacinda: Yeah we are.

Bryce: Awesome. Hey I appreciate your time. Yeah. There's lots of things to work on. Lots of people that need help. Thanks Prime Minister, thank you Jacinda. 

Rog: Good question, Bryce.

Bryce: Yeah, sorry. We usually run through things - what are we going to do, but just when we were live I thought I wanted to ask that.

We get sent all your messages, and we appreciate all your messages, and we can't respond to all your messages that we get. But yeah, don't ever think we don't see them. We always appreciate that. And we know how hard it is for families.