Who needs reality TV shows when you have the National Party in major meltdown.

What an absolute debacle. I'm not going to go on about who said what and who should have done this or that.

And while it's good that the man at the centre of the mess, MP Jami-Lee Ross, is getting some help, I find it ironic really that while the National party was in power from 2008 to 2017 the state of our mental health care went down the gurgler.

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Ross was taken to a mental health wing at Middlemore Hospital at the weekend after reportedly surviving what a friend called a "very real situation".

I feel for his family — this entire mess has been played out so publicly there was no hope of privacy and this time one can't blame the media. It was Ross that went public — the fallout has been terrible for everyone involved.

Wouldn't it be fantastic if everyone could get help so quickly.

I think most of us probably know someone or maybe a friend of a friend who has suffered some sort of need when it comes to mental health whether that be a mild case of depression to the worst case scenario of having thoughts about ending their life.

Not long ago I watched a Facebook post from a woman who was driving home over a bridge in Hawke's Bay when she noticed a person standing on the side of it.

She said she had a "gut feeling" that something wasn't right so she turned around and went back.

She approached the person and without going into too much detail she managed to talk them into leaving the bridge. She was crying in the video and I don't blame her. She should be so proud of herself for preventing a potential tragedy.

They way we live today is all about rushing from one point to the next without looking at what's going on around us. Or we are too busy looking down at our phones. So well done to her.


I wonder if that person she helped got the help they needed immediately.

I really hope so. I have heard many stories about people trying desperately to get help for friends or family member and being turned away.

Sadly it's usually nurses and people at reception that cop the flak for this rather than the people making decisions about money, staff numbers and facilities.

There is a lot more talk about mental health issues these days. It's not brushed under the carpet as it once was. After all there is nothing to be ashamed of.

It's a health issue - and it needs to be sorted.

That's one positive but so far I haven't really seen much action from this government either. As I've said before — there's been lots of talk now it's time to throw some money at it and get it sorted.

Linda Hall is assistant editor of Hawke's Bay Today.

Where to get help

If you are worried about your or someone else's mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider. However, if you or someone else is in danger or endangering others, call police immediately on 111.


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