The Office of the Director of Mental Health Annual Report 2015

Published online: 
18 November 2016
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This annual report presents information and statistics that serve as indicators of quality for our mental health services. Active monitoring of services is vital to ensuring New Zealanders are receiving quality mental health care.

The focus of this year’s report is on the transformational journey that mental health care in New Zealand is undergoing. In 2015 a record number of people accessed specialist mental health and addiction services. This increase is consistent with international trends, and has occurred in the context of population growth, improved non-governmental organisation reporting, growing social awareness and increasingly open discussion of mental health issues.

More New Zealanders are seeking and receiving mental health care, which is positive. But services are experiencing increasing pressure. We must continue to ensure that services are best placed to respond to the changing needs of the populations they serve.

This report is divided into three main sections.

  • Context – an overview of the legislative and service delivery contexts in which the Office operates.
  • Activities for 2015 – the work carried out by the Office in 2015.
  • Ensuring service quality – statistical information on the use of compulsory mental health assessment and treatment, family/whānau consultation, seclusion, electroconvulsive therapy, reportable deaths, suicide and opioid substitution treatment during 2015.

162,222 people accessed mental health services (3.5% of the population). This is up from 158,233 in 2014 and 154,523 in 2013. Source: PRIMHD.


Consumer satisfaction was rated 82%. Source: National Mental Health Consumer Satisfation Survey 2014/15.


78% seen within three weeks. 93% seen within eight weeks. 9% accessed both inpatient and community services. 91% accessed community services only. <1% accessed inpatient services only. Source: PRIMHD.

Compulsory assessment and treatment under the Mental Health Act 1992

9904 people (6.1% of all service users). 86% received compulsory treatment in the community. Māori 3.6 times more likely than non-Māori. Source: PRIMHD.

1. This relates to community treatment orders (section 29 of the Act). Māori were 3.3 times more likely than non-Māori to be subject to inpatient treatment orders (section 30).

25-34 years more likely than other age groups. Males more likely than females. Source: Ministry of Justice. Consultation with family/whānau occurred 59% of the time. “Not practicable” the most common reason for no consultation. Source: ODMH records.

2. Across all assessment and treatment events (sections 10, 12, 14 and 76, and release from the Act).

35 District Inspectors (lawyers) worked to ensure people’s rights were upheld. Source: ODMH records.

Seclusion3 in mental health services has been declining since 2009

In 2007, seclusion was at around 1200. The seclusion policy was introduced in 2009. In 2015, seclusion steadied. The rate is now around 800.

3. Seclusion is ‘where a consumer is placed alone in a room or area, at any time and for any duration, from which they cannot freely exit’ (Standards New Zealand 2008a).

Publishing information

  • Date of publication:
    18 November 2016
  • ISBN:
    978-0-947515-71-3 (print), 978-0-947515-72-0 (online)
  • HP number:
  • Citation:
    Ministry of Health. 2016. Office of the Director of Mental Health Annual Report 2015. Wellington: Ministry of Health.
  • Ordering information:
    Only soft copy available to download
  • Copyright status:

    Owned by the Ministry of Health and licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence.

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