Mental Health and Addiction

Workbridge is the largest New Zealand-owned employment service for people with a disability or health condition.

What are mental health and addiction issues?

‘Mental illness’ or a ‘mental health problem or disorder’ can refer to a wide range of conditions which can have an adverse affect on a person’s sense of emotional well-being and quality of life. Mental illness, where someone experiences intense psychological or physical symptoms, often occurs as isolated or discrete episodes.

Common mental illnesses and mental health issues:

  • Addiction
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Phobia disorders
  • Conduct Disorders
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Post-natal depression
  • Bi-polar affective disorder (previously manic depression)
  • Schizophrenia
  • Delusional Disorders
  • Emotional/ behavioural difficulties
  • Dementia
  • Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia.

One in five New Zealanders will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives. [1]


How do mental health problems affect people in employment?

Mental health problems are no indicator of a person’s intellectual abilities or ability to think clearly and rationally, when they are well. Many people with mental health problems manage their condition without medication. Many people want to work and research has shown that employment is often good for people’s mental health and that, when employers are flexible, the impact of the condition at work is negligible. [2]

Poor management of mental health in the workplace is one of the biggest drains on productivity and causes of lost working days every year.


Useful links

The Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand undertakes research, advocacy, resource development and Mental health promotion

Working Well is a comprehensive, practical guide that offers a wide range of information and guidance to businesses and employees on workplace mental health. It is produced by the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand.

The Mental Health Commission is the Government Commission responsible for promoting mental health.

Ministry of Health’s is an online resource for people experiencing mental health issues.