In 2018, support workers (including peer and whānau support workers) were the largest group in secondary mental health and addiction services at 32 percent of the workforce. Most support workers (93 percent) were employed in mental health and addiction services for adults (people aged 18 and older). Around three-quarters (74 percent) of all support workers were employed by NGOs (Te Pou o te Whakaaro Nui, 2018).
There is also some evidence that the support workforce in DHB adult mental health and addiction services is growing at a faster rate than clinical roles (Te Pou o te Whakaaro Nui, 2019). The size and availability of the community support workforce means it plays a crucial role in implementing the changes recommended by He Ara Oranga: Report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction.
Te Pou continues to collect and report information about the support workforce and its place in adult mental health and addiction services. The annual DHB employees profile report series provides useful demographic and service information. In 2022, Te Pou will be updating its More than numbers NGO workforce information.