Poor pay puts strategies

to address mental health crisis at risk

OPINION: Liz sipped her coffee, thinking over that morning’s appointments. First had been Emily, a 15-year-old Pākehā transgender female. Emily had initially been guarded, but had slowly opened up, describing family violence, bullying; seemingly unwanted at both home and school. They’d established coping strategies, breathing techniques, ways to shrink the anxiety that at times seemed to be crushing Emily. Liz winced, conscious of the tension between this hard-won trust and the looming service pressure to discharge Emily.

Then there had been Alex, a six-year-old Pasifika male who’d been brought to see her by the latest in a long line of caregivers. Despite a diagnosis of (and several medications for) attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Liz knew this was but a superficial description of the difficulties that plagued Alex. Abused and neglected since birth, much of his vigour served to mask an underlying sense of never being seen, heard or claimed. Aware that to turn this boy’s life around would take more than a few pills and a handful of “parenting skills” sessions, she cast her mind to other agencies she could involve, despite their own long waiting-lists and limited resources.

Link to article: Poor pay puts strategies to address mental health crisis at risk | Stuff.co.nz


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