New Zealanders' Views on Mental Health

Wellington, 22 November 2023 – Significantly more New Zealanders now believe the current healthcare system treats mental health as being equally important as physical health. The proportion who believe physical health is treated as more important was 43%, significantly down from 59% in 2022. This puts New Zealand on par with the global country average.

New Zealanders Views on Mental Health - Ipsos - Nov 2023
The author(s)
  • Amanda Dudding Director, Public Affairs Research
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Drawing on four years of trend data, the Ipsos World Mental Health Day survey explores changes in how people feel about their own mental health, the factors that are impacting their mental wellbeing, and sets this against the backdrop of the broader healthcare environment. As our Global Health Service Monitor shows, mental health is now the number one concern when people are asked about the main healthcare problems facing their country. This study explores the issue in more detail.

Key findings:

  • 60% of New Zealanders think about their mental wellbeing often, compared to 76% for physical wellbeing. These rates are similar to last year (61% and 76% respectively)
  • 77% of New Zealanders consider mental wellbeing as equally important as physical wellbeing. This is a small drop (of 3 percentage points) from last year
  • Over half of New Zealanders said that they have felt stressed to the point where it had an impact on how they live their daily lives (64%) and felt stressed to the point where they felt like they could not cope / deal with things (57%) at least once in the past year
  • New Zealanders are also more likely to report having felt stressed to the point they could not go to work (43%) than others around the world (39% global average)
  • Compared to others around the world, New Zealanders are more likely to have talked with friends/family about their mental health issues and concerns (40%, cf. 30% global average), taken medication to help their mental health (23%, cf. 18%), talked to their primary healthcare provider about their mental health (21%, cf. 15%)

Carin Hercock, Managing Director, Ipsos New Zealand, said: “Ipsos global research tells us that Mental Health is the leading health issue both globally and in New Zealand. This is the fourth year we have run this study in New Zealand and we continue to see stress having a real impact on the daily lives of New Zealanders and this is particularly impacting our young people and women”

Amanda Dudding, Research Director, Public Affairs, Ipsos New Zealand, added: “The health sector’s continued focus on mental health means significantly more New Zealanders now believe that that mental health is treated as equally important as physically health. In addition, New Zealanders are more likely to reach out to their GP to discuss their mental health than they were last year.”

The author(s)
  • Amanda Dudding Director, Public Affairs Research