Mental Health and Illness

For Psychiatric Emergencies call 0800 920 092.
Community and Public Health provides population health services and information. We are unable to work with individuals regarding their health issues.

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 percent) 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.


People with a serious mental illness or addiction experience significantly worse physical health than the general population.

Access online mental health resources without using mobile data

Ministry of Health media release: 9th May 2019

New Zealanders will be able to access important websites about mental health without using data on their mobile phone. It’s currently available to Spark, Vodafone, 2degrees and Skinny mobile customers.

The websites included in the pilot initative are:

This pilot initiative runs until 31st July 2019 and aims to reduce cost-barriers that stop some people from accessing the mental health information they need.

People will use data to watch any videos on the websites as per usual – although transcripts are free to read.



Download or order resources from the Community Health Information Centre.


Contact your local CPH office for further information:

Ph: +64 3 364 1777
Fax: +64 3 379 6125

Ph: +64 3 687 2600
Fax: +64 3 688 6091

Ph: +64 3 768 1160
Fax: +64 3 768 1169

For additional information, contact:

Psychiatric Emergency Line
0800 920 092

Depression Helpline
0800 111 757

0800 LifeLine
0800 543 354

0800 211 211

Suicide Crisis Helpline
0508 828 865

Need to talk? 1737 free call or text any time.

Wellbeing resources for workplaces

Mental wellbeing is one of the most valuable business assets. Workplaces that prioritise mental health have better engagement, reduced absenteeism and higher productivity, while employees have improved wellbeing, greater morale and higher job satisfaction.

Several resources are available to improve or address wellbeing in workplaces:


Page last updated: 09/08/2019

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