Students who were fed up with mental health professionals struggling to keep pace with demand have recruited in Wellington for better resources at tertiary institutions across the country.
A protest banner with the words & # 39; the wait is over & # 39; and covered with messages of hope was seen when hundreds of Victoria University students marched on Wednesday from the capital's campus to Parliament.
Protestors condemned waiting times and criticized the lack of support for higher education due to underfunding.
With posters and letters of support from study associations across the country, the demonstrators called for assistance with mental health services.
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Victoria University of Wellington student association (VUWSA), chairman Marlon Drake, said the frustrations about lack of access to counseling services were at record levels.
It was time for politicians to listen and act, he said.
"We are sick of this tough attitude, students struggle and ask for help, but our tertiary institutions are not able to keep up with demand.
"We need the government to finance tertiary care providers in the right way," Drake said.
Student counseling was funded by the student subsidy levy, an annual tuition fee on top of course fees. The levy covers healthcare, childcare, work and financial advice and legal services.
Drake said that the financing model could not deal with the demand of a group that was prone to psychological problems.
"They need a better financing model to help young people effectively in difficult times."
Three students with different mental health experiences told their stories on Parliament's lawn when tears of joy and sadness appeared on the faces of students who listened.
"It was an exciting and emotional day … this is the first time we have said it, we have been sitting still for too long and we are well aware of the changes in this issue," Drake said.
A meeting with ministers to discuss the possibility of public funding for the mental healthcare of tertiary students will take place in two weeks.