Mental health crisis ambulance call-outs continue to rise

St John has responded to nearly 20,000 mental health crisis call outs in the past six months.

And the number of elderly Kiwis dialling 111 for mental health issues is rising, the charity said.

St John Ambulance released its emergency workload statistics for 2019, which showed a 10 per cent increase in mental health call outs last year.

The group with the largest increase were those aged 70 to 79, and men made up nearly half of all callers, rising 8 per cent on the year before.