Using integrated data to explore the geography of citizens in mental distress in aotearoa new zealand
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University of Auckland New Zealand
University of Auckland
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1291
There is extensive research into the population health effects and experiences of people living with mental illness, however, little is known about the socio-demographic characteristics of people who call the police while in mental distress. Calls to New Zealand Police about people in mental distress are coded by police as “1M”, while events related to suicide are coded “1X”. Between 2009 and 2016, there was a 77% increase in 1M-related calls. Previous research found that mental health was one of the six major demands of police resources, with approximately 280 hours per day of police time spent on mental health-related calls. There remains little research that provides an evidence-base for police, together with health and social care services, to better respond to the increasing mental distress in the community. This research investigates the socio-demographic context of approximately 43,000 people in mental distress who have sought support from the NZ Police in response to 1M or 1X calls, between 2013 and 2019, using a whole-of-population cohort of deidentified individuals created in Statistics New Zealands Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI). We describe the spatial and temporal distribution of 1M and 1X calls, and use statistical modelling to investigate whether people in mental distress contacting police (1M/1X) have also sought support for their challenges from relevant publicly-funded health and social support services. *Dear reviewers. Our study data are not released from the IDI yet, so we cannot provide detailed numbers sorry.
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