This monitoring report details the progress towards the implementation of the Government’s national mental health strategy. It presents information on access to secondary mental health and addiction services and examines some of the connections between external organisations and these services. The report also includes a discussion of inequalities between population groups in terms of access to services and differences in the way groups are referred to secondary mental health services.
National access rates
The percentage of the population who accessed secondary mental health services over the twelve months ending June 2007 was 2.2 percent, the same rate as the previous twelve months. The six month access rate for the period ending June 2007 was 1.5 percent, slightly lower than the rate for the previous six months (1.6 percent). The lower rate is likely to be due to unreported data rather than representing an actual decline in the access rate.
Access rates by age
Adults aged 20 to 64 years had a higher rate of access over the six and twelve month period to June 2007 than children and youth (0 to 19 years) and older adults (65 years and over). However, under-reporting of data for older adults means the access rate for this age group will be significantly under-reported.
Access rates by ethnic group
Access rates for Māori, Pacific peoples and Other (non-Māori, non-Pacific) ethnic groups are presented in this report. Māori had the highest overall rate of access to secondary mental health services but there were variations by age group. In the age group 0 to 19 years, people from Other ethnic groups had the highest access rate. For adults aged 20 to 64 years, Māori had a much higher access rate than Pacific peoples and Other ethnic groups. For older adults, access rates were similar for Māori, Pacific peoples and Other ethnic groups.
While epidemiological data (Oakley Browne et al 2006) indicates that Pacific peoples have a higher twelve month prevalence of mental disorder than people from Other (non-Māori, non-Pacific) ethnic groups, the rate of access to secondary mental health services for Pacific peoples is much lower than the rate for MƗori and Other ethnic groups.
Referrals to secondary mental health services
General Practitioners (GPs) were the most common source of referral to secondary mental health services. Adults aged 20 to 64 years were less likely than other age groups to be referred by a GP. MƗori were much less likely than Pacific peoples and Other ethnic groups to be referred by a GP.
Linkages between PHOs and secondary mental health services are important to ensure continuity of care. The majority of people who accessed secondary mental health services were enrolled with a PHO (92.9 percent for the year ending June 2007), but enrolment rates were lower for service users aged 25 to 44 years, males and Pacific peoples.