Mental health

Good mental health and wellbeing are key aspects of the ways we live, work and play. We cannot take our mental health for granted. Mental illness can take a huge toll on individuals and their families, on society and on the economy.

    What does HPA do?

    HPA’s goal is for New Zealanders to experience positive mental health and wellbeing.

    We aim to reduce the impact of depression on the lives of New Zealanders, and create a nation that values and includes people with experience of mental illness, so that all New Zealanders can participate in society and in the everyday life of their communities and whānau. This work encompasses two programmes of activity:

    The Journal is a free online self-help programme available at and Sir John Kirwan (JK) fronts the programme and leads people through six practical lessons that provide skills to reduce depression.

    • Like Minds, Like Mine – This is a national programme to increase social inclusion and reduce stigma and discrimination for people with experience of mental illness. The programme is guided by the Like Minds, Like Mine National Plan 2014-2019.
    • Download the National Plan [PDF, 336KB]

    Find out more at:

    Latest campaigns

    • Click here for information on the campaign 
    • Click here for information on campaign


    You can order free postcard-size cards and wallet cards that remind people about the rural page on These cards are intended for health professionals, counsellors and other support people to give to people who could benefit from the help available on the website and in The Journal.

    Organisations and individuals are welcome to order both versions of the cards. The larger cards can be made available at clinics, events, etc and the smaller wallet cards can be slipped into a pocket or wallet. Both versions of the cards come in packs of 50.

    Order resources »

    Find more resources about depression

    Five facts about mental health

    • About 47% of New Zealanders will experience a mental illness and/or an addiction at some time in their lives, with one in five people affected within one year.
    • According to the World Health Organization, mental illness accounts for 15 percent of the total burden of disease in the developed world, with depression set to become the second leading cause of disability in the world by 2020.
    • 16% of adult New Zealanders have been diagnosed with depression, anxiety disorder and/or bipolar disorder at some point in their lives.
    • Approximately 6% of New Zealanders (aged 15 and over) are predicted to experience a major depressive disorder over a 12-month period.
    • People living in deprived areas are more likely to have been diagnosed with common mental disorders.