© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2019

Should mental health support systems be promoted more?

Ella Proude
Face Man Being Alone Head Alone Depression 416470
300 million people suffer from depression worldwide. Max Pixel

A Christchurch counsellor says some depression sufferers do not realise help is available.

Today will mark the start of The World Health Organisation's year-long campaign aimed at tackling depression.

Christchurch counsellor Gareth Hines said some New Zealanders suffering from depression did not realise help was available. 

He said it was hard for people to reach out if they had nowhere to go to.

Hines acknowledged the government had lots of support systems in place but believed it could promote them better so people were more aware of their options.

He also said when sports stars and famous New Zealanders such as John Kirwan speak out about the issue, it became more normalised within society.

A WHO study found 300 million people live with depression worldwide, an increase 18% over the last 10 years.

WHO Director- General Dr Margret Chan said the figures were a "wake-up call for all countries to re-think their approaches to mental health and to treat it with the urgency that it deserves".