The number of students who report poor levels of emotional wellbeing at Victoria University has remained at 45% for the past three years.
Gerard Hoffman, Manager of Student Counselling Services, wrote in Salient on 10 April, 2017 that factors include:
- Increasing dependence on technology, rather than learning to handle social pressures face-to-face
- A lifestyle imbalance of higher stress, less exercise, and poor diet
- Increased use of alcohol and drugs as coping mechanisms
From a 2014 questionnaire completed by 1,291 students at the University of Auckland, published in the NZ Medical Journal, students reported:
- 17.3% suffer from depression
- 19.7% suffer from anxiety
- 7.3% had thoughts of “being better off dead” or self harm
- 9.3% used recreational drugs in the previous 3 months
606 people committed suicide in NZ in the 2016/17 year, according to provisional figures released in August. That is 12.64 per 100,000 people.
The 20- to 24-year-old cohort had the highest number of suicides.
Maori continue to have the highest suicide rate of all ethnic groups, 21.73 per 10,000.
Men and people living in deprived areas are also over-represented in suicide statistics.
The Government now spends $1.4 billion a year on mental health services—a figure that has increased 27% in just 8 years, even while outcomes have deteriorated.
“The mental health system, for better or worse, has kept me alive. Without it I wouldn’t be here. But it doesn’t offer much in the way of hope. I guess the budget doesn’t stretch to hope.”
– Feedback in “People’s Mental Health Report, 2017,” by Marianne Elliot with ActionStation
“We are going to need to invest more heavily in people 1:1. Discipleship and mentoring are labour-intensive and time-intensive, but incredibly significant. Relationships are key.”
– Merrilyn Withers, veteran church youth worker and TSCF vice president