The parents of a 15-year-old girl who took her own life two months ago are pleading with the Government to address mental health support.
Hana Reedy and Api Nasedra are presenting a photo of their daughter, Ariana Reedy, framed by the names of thousands of New Zealanders calling for an inquiry into mental health.
Ariana was last seen alive by a taxi driver, who dropped her near the Bluff Hill lookout about 10.30pm on August 15, before being found dead by police after an extensive search.
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The Hastings parents want New Zealand First to make an inquiry into New Zealand's mental health crisis a bottom line in coalition talks. Before the election, all political parties, except National and Act, committed to holding an inquiry.
The 30,000-strong petition and an earlier video of Mrs Reedy's story inspired an outpouring of support. Mrs Reedy said she didn't want other families to go through what she had.
After trying everything to get Ariana help, Mrs Reedy said in the letter she's taking to Parliament today that the system failed her.
"She attempted suicide twice before and I had tried everything to get her help. I begged as hard as I could but she was turned away. Our mental health systems is failing our young people."
After the first attempt, Mrs Reedy took Ariana to get help from the hospital but after two nights she was back at home. The same thing happened soon after and, after begging for help, she was told Ariana would have a spot in a mental health ward in Wellington but when they packed to leave, they were then told her bed had been taken.
Instead, she went into the general childrens ward and because "she wasn't considered serious even though she tried to take her own life" was released again.
"All I was given was a pamphlet and some phone numbers."
One month after she was released she took her life.
"I truly believe if she could have got the help she needed, she would still be here today.
I cannot begin to tell you the pain I am going through.
"I tried so hard. I still remember how much I begged. I still don't understand how we were let down.
"The mental health system is in crisis and parents like me are being forced to pick up the pieces but we aren't trained to that."
YesWeCare.nz, which ran The Shoe Project suicide prevention campaign, supported the family. Coalition members include the Public Service Association (PSA) and New Zealand's mental health union.
PSA national secretary Erin Polaczuk said 77 per cent of New Zealanders support an independent inquiry into mental health and support services.
"Families like Hana's are being forced to face their darkest hours alone. Hana's call for a mental health inquiry is supported by tens of thousands of people not because her story is unique, but because it reflects a shared experience of a system that is failing the people who need it most."
Ms Polaczuk said union members were "stretched" with many crisis teams "on the brink of collapse".
People's Mental Health Review spokesman and psychotherapist Kyle MacDonald said whoever won the election, services needed an overhaul.
"The only thing that's changed since we launched the recommendations of the People's Mental Health Report is that things have gotten worse."
Mrs Reedy's petition is available at: change.org/mydaughter and comments supporting her petition were also available. The petition would remain open for people to sign.
- 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.
Or if you need to talk to someone else:
LIFELINE: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
SUICIDE CRISIS HELPLINE: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
YOUTHLINE: 0800 376 633
KIDSLINE: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
WHATSUP: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
DEPRESSION HELPLINE: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
SAMARITANS: 0800 726 666
OUTLINE: 0800 688 5463 (confidential service for the LGBTQI+ community, their friends and families)
RURAL SUPPORT TRUST: 0800 787 254.