Mental health

Isolation and connectedness are key factors in wellbeing and distress

5 Feb 2018

About this data

This data is taken from HPA's research report Wellbeing and Mental Distress in Aotaroa New Zealand: Snapshot 2016

This snapshot report summarises key findings from the 2016 Mental Health Monitor and 2016 Health and Lifestyles Survey.

View the full report

Related reports:

Te Oranga Hinengaro: Māori Mental Wellbeing

Te Kaveinga - Mental health and wellbeing of Pacific peoples

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 Mental distress in New Zealand is very common, with four in five adults having experience of mental distress, either personally or among people they know. 

HPA’s Wellbeing and Mental Distress in Aotearoa New Zealand: Snapshot 2016, shows isolation is reported by all age groups. Over half of young people (aged 15 to 24 years) report feeling isolated to some degree. In addition, 62% of those who identify as LGBTI reported feeling isolated compared to the rest of the population (39%).

People who felt isolated were more likely to report high levels of depression, anxiety and psychological distress.

  • Around half of the participants who felt isolated reported symptoms of depression, compared with 1 in 10 of the participants who did not feel isolated. 
  • 16% of people who felt isolated reported moderate to severe anxiety, compared with 3% of people who did not feel isolated.
  • 43% of those who felt isolated reported medium or high levels of psychological distress compared with 10% of those who did not feel isolated.