More specialists needed to help people with severe mental illnesses

Top mental health specialists warn that the number of psychologists and psychiatrists must double to meet patient demand.

Practitioners said New Zealand needed 15 psychologists per 100,000 people to meet demand – equating to 770 full-time workers. But Te Whatu Ora estimated the public sector currently employed about 350 workers.

Ashley Bertelson, 18, said her life was on hold until recently, due to lack of care.

“Anything you think of, it was hard for me to do,” she said. “Whether that was walking, opening doors, picking something up or putting something down,” Bertelson said.

Eventually, Bertelson travelled to the United States for treatment. She participated in a three-week intensive course and learned to manage her compulsions. She said her entire life changed, but she was disappointed it took so long. Continue reading

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News category: New Zealand, News Shorts.