Mental illness is common, but can severely impact on people’s lives. The 2016/17 New Zealand Health Survey found that:
- One in six New Zealand adults had been diagnosed with a common mental disorder at some time in their lives. This includes depression, bipolar disorders and anxiety disorders.
- Nearly 8 percent of adults had experienced psychological distress in the past four weeks..
- Mental disorders as a group are the third-leading cause of health loss for New Zealanders. Measuring health loss includes risk of illness, disability, and early death..
- Females are more likely to experience a common mental disorder than males, regardless of age..
- The highest rates of common mental disorder were from 35 to 44 years of age for women and from 45 to 55 years of age for men..
- Adults aged 75 years and over were the only age group for which rates of psychological distress have stayed consistently low (around 4%) since 2011/12..
- Māori and Pacific have higher rates of being diagnosed with mental disorders or experiencing psychological distress than the rest of the population. Mental health service use by Māori is rising..
- People living in the most socio-economically deprived areas were nearly three times more likely to experience psychological distress as people living in the least deprived areas – after adjusting for age, sex and ethnicity.