Anxiety and depression are common in New Zealand, and one in five of us are experiencing it every year. In fact, mental disorders are the third-leading cause of health loss for New Zealanders, behind cancers and other health issues.

The National Mental Health Survey reveals that nearly half of New Zealanders live with mental illness and addiction at some point during their lifetime. Also, studies that regularly interview a cohort of people reveals that about 83% of people had experienced mental illness and addiction by the age of 38. Women, young people, Maori and Pacifica people are consistently over-represented in mental health statistics along with those experiencing deprivation. Instances of comorbidity (the co-occurrence of two or more disorders) are common.

Mental distress is the leading cause of suicide. While the rate of suicide in the general population has been declining for the past 15years, it is still high. Yes, the Coroner’s provisional suicidal figure for 2016-2017 shows that about 606 people died by suicide. According to a 2017 UNICEF report, New Zealand’s rate of youth suicide is among the highest in the developed world. The rate of teenagers (between 15-19 years of age) committing suicide stands at 15.6 suicides per 100,000 people – twice as high as the USA rate and almost five times that of Britain.

These alarming statistics are thought to be triggered factors that include childhood poverty, high rates of teenage pregnancy, family violence, ingrained cultural stoicism, and school bullying. The reasons for suicide among adults that have been attributed to a range of factors are lifestyle factors, adverse health-effects of some medications, socio-economic status, and issues with accessing healthcare.

A shift towards better mental healthcare understanding and provision is slowly taking place. Public awareness of New Zealand’s mental health crisis has undoubtedly increased over the last few years, and pressure on the government to make significant changes has been mounting. In last year’s national election, New Zealand’s main political parties both campaigned on making mental health a key priority.

People who are seeking professional help for a mental health issue will start with their General Practitioner. The GPs remain at the forefront of primary care, involved with the initial assessment, treatment, and management of patients presenting with mental health concerns. The General Practitioners are trained to assess, treat, and manage mental health and addiction issues, including the prescribing of medications and help them relieve the stress.

Although access to the mental health and addiction services has grown by 73% over the past 10 years, there is a critical shortage for GPs in New Zealand. If you are interested in mental health and wellbeing or are considering locum doctor jobs New Zealand, the team at Ochre Recruitment can help. With a wealth of experience, our consultants can help you get local medical jobs and permanent medical jobs in New Zealand. Call us today for more details.

The Author of this article is the leading medical recruiters who help doctors find medical jobs in New Zealand. Along with the team of professionals, he provides personalised service that matches you to positions that suits your needs, lifestyle, and career goals. Visit https://www.ochrerecruitment.co.nz/ more details.