New report further highlights pressure facing New Zealand psychiatrists

26 November 2021

The Tu Te Akaaka Roa – the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) New Zealand National Committee has welcomed a new report, which highlights the increasing burden and stresses many psychiatrists are facing in their work.

The report, Inside the frontline of the mental health crisis, has been released today by the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists Toi Mata Hauora (ASMS) amidst growing unmet need for mental health services.

Associate Professor Susanna Every-Palmer, Chair of Tu Te Akaaka Roa, said it supports the initial findings from the RANZCP’s own recent survey, which showed that specialist mental health and addiction services are facing significant pressure.

‘We are saddened but not surprised by the results of ASMS’s survey. The report sheds further light on what mental health service users are experiencing – it’s harder to access secondary services and less time is available to spend with mental health experts.

‘There are high levels of burnout and stress among psychiatrists and their colleagues,’ noted Associate Professor Every-Palmer. 

‘The ASMS results show 95% of the 368 respondents reported an increase in demand for specialist mental health services in the past three years.

‘It paints a vivid picture of the toll that this is taking on psychiatrists and their colleagues and has real implications for service delivery. It is vital that people can get access to the right mental health care when they need it.

‘It is distressing for people to feel they are letting down tāngata whaiora and whānau when they don’t have sufficient time or resources to provide the best care. 

‘We are also seeing unmet need spill into other areas – for example, with reports that police are overwhelmed by mental health callouts’, added Associate Professor Every-Palmer.

The RANZCP is currently undertaking additional analysis on the wealth of data from its own survey and looks forward to sharing insights on how to ensure adequate access to care for tāngata whaiora.   

‘We are committed to working across the sector and with government on shared solutions.’

For all other expert mental health information visit Your Health in Mind, the RANZCP’s consumer health information website.

ENQUIRIES: For more information, or to arrange an interview call RANZCP Media on +61 (0)3 9640 0646 or +61 437 315 911, or email