King slams minister over suicides

Mental health advocate Mike King has slammed heath minister Jonathan Coleman for not doing enough to address the spike in suicide deaths.

Recent statistics show New Zealand's suicide rate over the past year has reached an all-time high at 579. Appearing on Native Affairs, King pleaded with Coleman to do more to stop people from taking their own lives – especially school children.

“This is a minister who is in charge of a portfolio where 579 people took their lives. 55 of those people were school children – one who was ten years old,” he said. “You cannot tell me that this system is not in crisis.  You cannot look me in the eye and say we’re doing a great job, because minister, you’re doing a terrible job.”

A former comedian, King now devotes most of his time to traveling the country trying to shift NZ attitudes towards mental health.