Labour MPs visit health centres

"Communities understand their own needs"

SUSAN STRONGMAN
Last updated 05:00 09/07/2014
Iain Lees-Galloway
DAVID UNWIN/Fairfax NZ
LABOUR: Iain Lees-Galloway.

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Labour MPs have been looking closely at the work of two groundbreaking Taranaki organisations as they formulate a vote-catching health policy.

Associate health spokesman and Palmerston North MP Iain Lees-Galloway and list MP Andrew Little were both in New Plymouth yesterday visiting Be Safe Taranaki and the youth clinic New Waves.

Lees-Galloway said injury prevention training done through Be Safe Taranaki took into account community input to identify areas training needed to focus on.

He said it was important that the Government listened to what the groups were saying.

"Communities understand their own needs," he said.

While at New Waves, the MPs chatted with general manager Lisa Bushell about what the organisation, which provides a venue for groups wanting to connect with youth, needed to move forward.

"Mental health and addiction is what I'm interested in talking about here," he said.

"We think there's a strong case for making it a health priority."

The two problems were not viewed as a priority by the current Government, he said.

Groups like New Waves helped with early intervention related to mental health and addictions amongst youth, shifting the focus away from hospitals and onto community-based work.

New Waves provides a place for youth education in areas including art and drama, and is used by groups including Family Planning and Rainbow Taranaki.

Lees-Galloway said he would also spend time with Federated Farmers to discuss the issue of suicide in isolated rural communities. "It needs to be addressed."

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- Taranaki Daily News

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