This section contains data and information about the performance of mental health and addiction services, including how many people are accessing services. This is an an important part of ensuring we are on track with service delivery and meeting the needs that exist.

It also helps us better understand what is happening within New Zealand communities and identify any trends, which we can then respond to with service design and provision.

The Ministry of Health is committed to transparency and sharing available information publicly. There are three key areas that data falls into:

  • System performance – this information shares how service providers are performing, and whether they are meeting nationally-set targets.
  • Service use and suicide statistics – this information helps us understand the demand for services, and how many people are accessing new and existing services, as well as the rate of suicide within New Zealand.
  • Regulatory reporting – this information helps us understand how existing legislation is being used to assess and treat people with mental health and addiction needs.

System performance

Information on the performance of New Zealand’s mental health and addiction system helps us understand whether nationally set performance measures are being met. The data includes details about how long people have had to wait to be seen by mental health and/or addiction services and the demographic breakdown of people accessing services.

National Service Framework Library

One of the main sources for mental health and addiction data is the National Service Framework Library. This site provides data on specialist mental health and addiction services, including:

  • Number of people and population percentages engaging with specialist services
  • Consumer experience and service quality rates (up to 2014)
  • Waiting times.
  • National Service Framework Library

Prior to 9 February 2021 responsibility for monitoring and advocacy for improvement to mental health and addiction services was held by the Health and Disability Commissioner.

The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission took over the responsibility of providing system-level oversight of mental health and wellbeing, and holding the Government of the day and other decision-makers to account for the mental health and wellbeing of people in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Health Quality & Safety Commission plays an important role in working with clinicians, providers and consumers to improve health and disability support services. In 2017, the Health Quality & Safety Commission commenced a five year national mental health and addiction quality improvement programme.

Expanding Access and Choice of Primary Mental Health and Addiction supports

A key component of the Wellbeing Budget 2019 was investment in a programme of work to ‘expand access and choice of primary mental health and addiction supports’ across New Zealand (known as Access and Choice). The programme comprises funding for the expansion of existing and creation of new primary mental health and addiction services; to support and expand existing workforces and grow and develop new mental health and addiction workforces; and for enablers such as implementation support, IT infrastructure, collaborative design and evaluation of services.

In terms of service delivery, the new and expanded services will provide timely access to support for anyone experiencing issues in life that are causing them distress. The establishment of these services started in late 2019 and will be phased over a five-year period. There are no criteria to access these services, no cost, and support is immediate and rapid. There are four main workstreams:

  • Integrated Primary Mental Health and Addiction (IPMHA) services accessed through general practice
  • Kaupapa Māori primary mental health and addiction services accessed primarily through kaupapa Māori non-government organisations and community providers
  • Pacific primary mental health and addiction services accessed primarily through Pacific-led community based organisations
  • Youth primary mental health and addiction services accessed through non-governmental, community based organisations and youth one-stop shops.

Data from these Access and Choice services can be found on the Access and Choice programme website.

Specialist Services use

Every year approximately 185,000 people are accessing specialist and NGO services for mental health or addiction issues. Understanding figures like these helps us understand trends about who is accessing services (eg by age and ethnicity) and which types of services people are accessing (eg, DHB or NGO).

The Ministry publishes information on mental health and addiction specialist service use.

Suicide Statistics

The Office of the Chief Coroner publishes provisional suicide statistics annually. The information provided relates to deaths where suicide is suspected, but has not yet been confirmed by a coroner; some cases recorded here may eventually be found not to be suicides. These statistics, available since 2011, can be found on the Coronial Services of New Zealand website.

Confirmed suicide data is published on the Ministry of Health’s website. This data is based on the numbers of suicides confirmed by coroners, or where there is sufficient other evidence to conclude the death was a suicide.

Regulatory reporting

There are two main pieces of legislation relating to mental health and addiction: the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act and the Substance Addiction (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act (SACAT).

The Ministry reports on the use of legislation which affects people with experience of mental illness and addiction.

People treated, or assessed, under the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act

Every year approximately 10,000 people in New Zealand are subject to treatment or assessment under the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act.

The Director of Mental Health is a statutory role under the Mental Health Act.

More reports related to the use of legislation, including guidelines and earlier Annual Reports, can be found on the publications webpage.

Mental Health Review Tribunal Annual Reports