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The New Zealand Situation

Depression is quite common in New Zealand and can affect anyone. Here are some facts and figures about depression as summarized in the literature or in the New Zealand Mental Health Survey Report published in 2006:

  • Up to one in five women and one in ten men have experienced feeling depressed, which can range from feelings of low mood to acute or chronic symptoms of depression;
  • A similar number have felt anxious;
  • One in ten people use a substance such as alcohol or drugs in a way that may be harmful to their health; and
  • About half of those people who are feeling depressed have not had any contact with health services.

Although many New Zealanders experience feeling depressed, ‘low’ or ‘blue’, not everyone gets help. This can be because people may not know that they are depressed, they may not know who to go to for help, or they may feel embarrassed about asking for help. As the surveys generally relate to people with sustained depressive symptoms of at least two weeks duration, the number of people troubled by depressive symptoms in the community could be expected to be higher.

University of Otago Recovery via the Internet from Depression Research Study