Feb 14th 2019
Mental Health and Addiction in Aotearoa New Zealand: Recent trends in service use, unmet need, and information gaps 
The “Mental Health and Addiction in Aotearoa New Zealand – Recent trends in service use, unmet need, and information gaps (July 2018)” report, produced by Sheree Gibb and Ruth Cunningham, University of Otago, Wellington, provides recent and previously unpublished information on the mental health and mental health service use of the groups of particular interest to the Mental Health Inquiry.
Part 1 of the report “Mental health service use for the New Zealand population” of the report (p.12) describes rates of mental health service use for different groups of interest to the Inquiry. This section is divided into four subsections each covering a different type of service use: specialist (secondary) mental health service use; primary care mental health service use; hospitalisations for alcohol and other drug-related harm; and hospitalisations for self-harm. Data in this section is drawn from a range of sources including PRIMHD, primary care data, and hospitalisation data. Details are provided in the relevant sub-sections.
The key points from this section include:
- Patterns of service use are similar across all measures: secondary mental health care, primary mental health care, alcohol and drug-harm hospitalisations, and self-harm.
- Māori have higher rates of service use across all measures.
- Asian people have lower rates of service use across all measures.
- Rates of service use for Pacific people were similar to non-Pacific people.
- Across all measures, rates of service use increased with increasing NZDep quintile. This was apparent across all measures but differences were largest for forensic, addiction services and alcohol and drug harm hospitalisations.
- Recently released prisoners have substantially higher rates of service use across all measures.
- Older people 65+ had lower rates of service use, young people 13-24 had slightly higher use on secondary care measures but not for primary care usage.
- People in same-sex partnerships have higher rates of service use across most measures.
- People in rural areas had lower rates of service use than people in urban areas.
- Females had higher rates of self-harm, ED visits and GP mental health visits (especially primary care psychologist sessions) than males, but lower rates on all other measures of service use.
- Refugees had slightly lower rates of service use than the general population.