Information and tools to support your mental wellbeing during the COVID-19 response
Last updated: 19 June 2020
On this page:
- Supporting your own mental wellbeing
- Supporting others' mental wellbeing
- If you need someone to talk to
- If you're feeling suicidal
- If you're concerned about someone's safety
- Related media releases
COVID-19 has had a significant impact on how we interact with others, go about our lives, our work, study and many other aspects of our lives. We know that a combination of stress and uncertainty can have significant and wide-reaching impacts on the mental wellbeing of people in New Zealand.
We want people to know it is normal to not feel all right all the time – it’s understandable to feel sad, distressed, worried, confused, anxious or angry during this crisis. Everyone reacts differently to difficult events, and some may find this time more challenging than others. The ways people think, feel and behave are likely to change over time – we all have good days and bad days.
During this time, you may be looking for new or additional ways to help you feel mentally well and get through. This page connects you with tools that are available to support your own and others’ mental wellbeing, and places you can get help from when you need it.
If you or those around you are concerned about how you’re feeling or your wellbeing, there is information and tools available to help you feel mentally well and get through.
Information and websites
- Getting Through Together is a mental wellbeing programme focused on things we can all do to maintain our mental wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic (All Right? and the Mental Health Foundation)
- Looking after mental health and wellbeing during COVID-19 advice and information, and useful top tips to get through (Mental Health Foundation)
- Stories of people’s journeys to wellness and ideas to help you find your own way to better wellbeing (Depression.org.nz)
- Best Bubble highlights choices as people figure out what works best for them, and promotes healthier activities over those that could make life trickier, particularly drinking too much alcohol (NZ Drug Foundation)
- Asian Family Services provides mental health support to Asians living in New Zealand.
Advice for at-risk groups
The Depression.org.nz website provides advice, information and support for:
Self-help tools and apps
- Melon is an app with a health journal, resources and self-awareness tools to help you manage your emotional wellbeing. You can also join their online community to connect with and support others, and watch daily webinars about health and wellbeing (Melon Health)
- Mentemia is an app that you can use to monitor, manage and improve your mental wellbeing by setting daily goals and tracking your progress (Mentemia)
- Staying on Track is an e-therapy course that teaches you practical strategies to cope with the stress and disruption of day-to-day life (Just a Thought)
- Working through depression is a personalised online programme that focuses on positivity, lifestyle changes and problem solving (The Journal at Depression.org.nz)
- Working through problems with Aunty Dee is a tool to work through problems, generate ideas and find a solution (Le Va)
- Whakatau Mai - The Wellbeing Sessions are free, virtual community events aimed at supporting wellbeing in real-time – to help you connect you with others, learn and practice new skills, and start looking at things differently.
Self-help tools for young people
- Feeling down, worried or stressed (SPARX)
- Learn more about mental health issues (Mental Wealth)
- Recognising and understanding depression and anxiety (The Lowdown)
- Aroha is a chatbot that uses Facebook Messenger to provide practical, evidence-based tools to manage stress, maintain social connection and stay active (University of Auckland)
- Youthline’s web chat, where young people can talk one-to-one with a real person
- Melon Health has a range of online resources specifically for young people
- RainbowYOUTH provides free 1:1 peer support for youth in the rainbow community, their friends and whānau.
Support for frontline health care professionals and care workers
Health Care New Zealand is providing a free counselling service for frontline health care professionals and care workers who are seeking mental health and wellbeing support during the COVID-19 response. Health care professionals and care workers can access this confidential service by calling 0800 820 080 to make an appointment with an experienced therapist.
Concerned about your substance use and/or gambling?
During this time people may be looking to familiar habits or seeking out new ways to cope with feelings and situations. While alcohol or other drug (substance) use and / or gambling may seem like ways to cope, these behaviours can negatively impact many areas of our lives including our health, wairua (spirit), hinengaro (mind), relationships and overall wellbeing.
If you, or those around you, are concerned about your substance use and/or gambling, there are some great resources to help you identify if you need some extra support:
- Is your drinking ok? (Health Promotion Agency)
- Test your drug taking (Alcohol Drug Helpline)
- Test your gambling (Choice Not Chance)
- NZ Drug Foundation and Drug Help have information for people who use alcohol and other drugs, and those supporting them, about how to use safer, manage withdrawal symptoms, and stay in recovery.
What if I am already receiving mental health and addiction services or need these services?
Mental health and addiction services continue to be available. Some services may still be delivered in different ways such as by video link or over the phone.
If you, or those around you, are already receiving mental health and addiction services, continue to do the things that you know are helpful for your mental health and wellbeing and make contact with the health professional you see most often if you need advice or additional support right now. The online and phone support services listed on this page are also available for you to use.
Talk to your health professional, GP, or free call or text 1737 any time to talk to a trained counsellor if you need further support.
There is a lot you can do to help yourself, your friends, family and community during this time.
Supporting children and young people
There may be children or young people in your life who experience distress. As a trusted adult, you can help reassure and educate them about COVID-19:
- How to talk to children about COVID-19 (Getting Through Together)
Supporting people living with mental health or addiction challenges
- Whai Ora, Whiti Ora Fund – helps charitable organisations and community groups help tāngata whaiora – those who live with mental health and addictions challenges (Mental Health Foundation).
Supporting someone with substance use and/or gambling concerns
You can follow these links for resources to support you while you support someone else:
- Supporting Others (New Zealand Drug Foundation)
- Help Someone Else (Drug Help)
- Gambling: Concerned for Someone? (Choice Not Chance)
- How to talk to someone about their drinking (Health Promotion Agency)
Supporting someone who is feeling suicidal
You can follow these links for resources to support you while you support someone else:
- Supporting someone who may be suicidal (Ministry of Health)
- Supporting whānau through suicidal distress (Mental Health Foundation)
- How to support people who may be feeling suicidal (LifeKeepers)
If you need to talk, free call or text 1737 to talk to a trained counsellor. They’re available day and night.
Other places that can help you if you need someone to talk to:
- Depression helpline: Free call 0800 111 757 or text 8681
- Alcohol Drug Helpline: Free call 0800 787 797 or text 8681
- Gambling Helpline: Free call 0800 654 655 or text 8006
- OUTLine: Free call 0800 688 5463 (OUTLINE) - confidential telephone support for people in the rainbow community, available evenings from 6pm–9pm.
If you’re feeling suicidal or having thoughts of suicide tell someone you trust so you can get the support you need. If you can’t find someone you trust to talk to, free call or text 1737 to talk to a trained counsellor. They’re available day and night. Other helpful resources that are available include:
- Suicide: coping with suicidal thoughts (Mental Health Foundation)
- Having suicidal thoughts – a resource to help people manage their own suicidal thoughts or feelings (Mental Health Foundation)
If you’re seriously concerned about someone’s immediate safety, or if someone is putting others in immediate danger, call 111 for assistance or contact your district health board’s psychiatric emergency service or mental health crisis assessment team. Try to help them to stay safe until support arrives.
- 5 June 2020: Funding to boost mental health and wellbeing support for Asian community
- 21 May 2020: More choice of Mental Health and Wellbeing Support for Young People
- 12 May 2020: Additional supports for frontline health and disability workers announced on International Nurses Day
- 9 May 2020 - Extra mental health support for at risk groups
- 14 April 2020 - Apps, e-therapy offer practical mental health support
- 7 April 2020 - COVID-19 mental health support begins