This holiday season we want to share what we achieved together in 2017 and how you can help in 2018.
We had an ambitious goal to make our mental health crisis and health under-funding key election issues. Our eight-month campaign finished with 606 shoes, each for a Kiwi lost to suicide in the last year, arriving at Parliament. By the following day every party except National and Act committed to our six crowd-sourced election health pledges. By election day, media said health and mental health were top election issues.
Here’s how together we did it
Surveyed 6,000 people working in health. It found nine in 10 felt under resourced.
Collected more than a thousand stories and shared more than 300 in the media. They included health service-users and their families, families bereaved by suicide and people working in health.
Travelled across New Zealand raising awareness about health and mental health underfunding. We took 200 life-sized cut-outs of health workers missing due to underfunding with us. It was covered in 40 prominent stories in local and national media. We published daily videos and our roadshow trailer was seen by 50,000.
Ran a poll that found only 13% thought the National Government was doing enough around mental health.
Supported community groups to tell their story in the media.
Ran a grassroots health funding conference.
Supported courageous life-saver Danielle MacKay to get a cochlear implant. She was going deaf and had been waiting for more than three years. Our 26,000 strong-petition for Danielle pressured the National government to fund 60 more implants.
Collected 22,000 signatures for Rachel Palmer. Rachel has been bedridden for two and a half years because the National government denied her treatment for Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes.
Developed six crowdsourced health pledges which every party committed to, except National and Act.
Ran health candidate forums across the country.
Took 606 shoes, each representing a Kiwi lost to suicide, across New Zealand. We raised awareness about suicide and called for an urgent independent mental health inquiry. It was covered by more than 100 stories, opinion pieces and editorials locally and internationally. A number of videos went viral including 1.5m views on a video for BBC and another with almost 300,000 views. One Radio NZs story was one of their most viewed ever.
Designed and helped put up a cheeky billboard in Jonathan Coleman’s North Shore electrorate with ActionStation.
Collected 37,000 signatures for Hana Reedy’s petition for an independent inquiry into our mental health crisis. A month earlier, her 15-year-old daughter took her life after not getting the care she needed.
Supported families bereaved by suicide to build a national democratic voice.
Met with the new health minister to ensure the mental health inquiry is independent. We want to ensure the voice of service-users, people bereaved by suicide, and people working in mental health are at the forefront.
Warning: Video mentions suicide
What we’re going to do in 2018
Continue to support bereaved families to build their own organisation. Sign up here.
Support Kiwis to take part in the mental health inquiry. It will begin in early 2018. Sign up here.
Support people working in health and mental health. We should be treated with respect, be paid enough to thrive and not just survive, and have safe workloads.
I’d like to make a final thank-you to the Public Service Association members who funded YesWeCare.nz and made this all possible.
Enjoy your holidays season, and know we are very grateful for your support.
On behalf of the YesWeCare.nz coalition and the Public Service Association