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Connection to place has impact on mental health, says NZ study

Image: Russell Street [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Mental health issues in New Zealand can be linked to social acceptance, cultural identity and a “sense of belonging”, according to a study by University of Otago psychologists.

Researchers used data provided by more than 24,000 people who took part in the biannual NZ General Social Survey from 2008 to 2012, and are presently analysing more recent surveys.

They found that a connection between national identity and mental health was stronger among older participants. Being able to express cultural identity was also important to Māori, Asian and Pacific Islands participants.

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