$24 million for free mental health counselling for young kiwis

The Rt Hon Winston Peters, joined by Mike King, has announced $24 million over four years for the ‘I Am Hope Foundation’, and will provide young people aged between 5 to 25 years with free mental health counselling services.  

This funding will help I Am Hope’s ‘Gumboot Friday’ initiative give more than 15,000 young New Zealanders access to free mental health counselling sessions. 

This is a serious investment in a frontline service that is proven to directly deliver to the young people who need help the most. Research has found that every $1 invested in I Am Hope results in a social return to New Zealand of $5.70. 

We are focused on investing in our front-line services that will deliver real results – not throwing money around like an eight-armed octopus into a bloated ineffective bureaucracy.

Mental health is one of the biggest issues facing young New Zealanders and we need to invest directly into grassroots organisations that are doing good work. 

Our young people are the future leaders of our nation and mental health concerns are one of the biggest issues facing young New Zealanders

New Zealand First has committed to fund I Am Hope and Gumboot Friday since 2020 and today’s announcement completes a commitment under the New Zealand First-National coalition agreement.