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One In Two New Zealanders Reported Having Felt Severely Stressed And/or Depressed In The Past Year

Auckland, 22 November 2022 – New Zealanders are thinking about their mental wellbeing more often than a year ago, however still less than they think about their physical wellbeing. New Zealand males are less likely to think about their mental health than females, who are above the global average.

The Ipsos Global Advisor Study regularly asks respondents from around the world, including New Zealand, for their views on different topics. Ipsos has conducted this study to understand perceptions around mental health and wellbeing, as well as factors that impact it. The New Zealand research also explored social media usage and any potential links it may have with mental health. More than 20,000 people across 30 countries were surveyed. In New Zealand, 1,000 people aged 18+ participated in this survey.

Key finding include:

  • In New Zealand, our young people, and those under the age of 50, are more likely to think about their mental health than this time last year, and more often than the global average.
  • Despite most New Zealanders having the view that mental and physical health are equally important, only one in five believe physical wellbeing and mental wellbeing are given equal importance in our health care system, one of the lowest ratings globally.
  • More than half of New Zealanders have felt stressed to the point where it had an impact on how they live their daily life (56%) and where they felt like they could not cope / deal with things (53%). One in four New Zealanders reported having seriously considered suicide or self-hurt in the last year.
  • Young people’s experiences with mental health issues are considerably more pronounced. Three quarters of our young people (aged 18-34) have felt stressed to the point that is has impacted on their daily life and made them feel unable to cope, with 40% saying that they have seriously considered suicide or self-harm in the last year.
  • While New Zealand women and young people are more likely to have experienced mental health issues, they are also more likely to have taken action, such as talk to friends / family, taking time of work, talking to a primary health care provider or taking medication.
  • Concern about personal finances is now considered to be the biggest impact on New Zealanders’ mental wellbeing, likely related to the increased cost of living.
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Commenting on the Ipsos Global Advisor Study, Carin Hercock, Managing Director, Ipsos New Zealand, said: “While below the global average, we were quite shocked to see that around a third of New Zealanders had been so stressed they felt like they couldn’t cope several times in the last 12 months, and this is the way almost 1 in 2 of our younger cohort have been feeling. Our report shows that mental health is much more likely to be an issue for younger New Zealanders, but one positive is that the young are also more likely to talk to friends and family about their mental health issues and concerns and to have received professional help.”

Amanda Dudding, Research Director, Public Affairs, Ipsos New Zealand, added:

“The cost of living crisis is adding pressure into the lives of New Zealanders every day. From the Ipsos Issues Monitor we know that inflation / cost of living is the number one issue our country is facing. This survey shows it’s not only taking a toll on our wallets, but also on our mental health. Finances now have the biggest effect on our mental wellbeing.”

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