Mental health services – where to get help

We all face challenges to our mental health at various times in our lives.

The way we’re feeling can change how we think and how we deal with tough times.

There’s a range of resources and services available to help including phone and online services and information, as well as face to face support.

Most services are free, and provide information and confidential advice from trained professionals.

There's also information for family, whānau, or friends if they need advice and support.

If you’re told that there is a waiting time for a service, please still reach out and make contact. Other supports can be put in place – ask what you can try in the meantime.

Resources and support for young people

We encourage you to reach out and ask for help if you need it. There are a range of youth focused tools available online, via free text and by phone. Or you could talk to a friend or caregiver, your school-based health service, counsellor or a trusted teacher.

The Lowdown

Free text number 5626

The Lowdown is a website to help young New Zealanders recognise and understand depression or anxiety. The site includes:

  • Helpful information on anxiety, depression.
  • Guidance on other issues relevant to young people, such as bullying and family relationships.
  • Quick steps to help build healthy mental wellbeing.
  • Places to go to get help.
  • Information for anyone worried about a friend.
  • A moderated forum for young people to share stories and experiences and provide peer-to-peer support.
  • A free-text service.


SPARX is an interactive self-help online tool that teaches young people skills to help combat depression and anxiety.

Aunty Dee

Aunty Dee is a free online tool for anyone who needs some help working through a problem. It doesn’t matter what the problem is, you can use Aunty Dee to help you work it through.

Youth one stop shops

Youth One Stop Shops provide primary health care (including drop-in services) plus a range of other services for young people. They use a youth development and holistic approach to health.

School Based Health Services

School Based Health Services aim to improve students’ access to a range of health services and currently operates in secondary schools from deciles 1 to 5, Teen Parent Units and Alternative Education facilities.

Nurses help students access relevant primary health services, provide youth development checks and can refer students experiencing mental health problems to the right supports or services. 

For more information, go to School Based Health Services.

Helplines for children and young people

Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time to talk to a trained counsellor.

To talk to a trained counsellor 24/7 call the Depression helpline – 0800 111 757.

To get help from a registered nurse 24/7 call Healthline – 0800 611 116.

Youthline – 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email [email protected] or online chat.

What's Up 0800 942 8787, (for 5–18 year olds). Phone service open from 11am -11pm and online chat service open from 11am-10.30pm, every day including public holidays.

Mental health services

Young people can be referred to mental health services by their family doctor, their school’s pastoral team or their school nurse or counsellor.

All DHBs now fund primary mental health services for young people (12 to 19 year olds) regardless of enrolment with a family doctor.

Mental health crisis services can be accessed by calling the phone number relevant to where you live.

If someone needs urgent help, do not hesitate to call the crisis service, or in a life-threatening situation, call 111 immediately.

Note: The information above provides a summary of many of the services and resources available to young people. It does not include services delivered directly into schools through the Ministry of Education.

Resources and support for all ages – Free text number 4202

This website helps New Zealanders recognise and understand depression and anxiety. This website is part of a national public health programme, the National Depression Initiative. It includes The Journal – an online self-help programme.

Like Minds, Like Mine

Like Minds, Like Mine is a national anti-stigma campaign. The aim of this programme is to increase social inclusion and to reduce stigma and discrimination towards people with experience of mental illness.


Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time.

Talk to a trained counsellor or call:

Healthline – 0800 611 116 – to get help from a registered nurse 24/7.

Lifeline – 0800 543 354

Samaritans – 0800 726 666

Mental health services

Most people will be referred to mental health services through their GP or family doctor. Mental health services in the community are funded through District Health Boards (DHBs).

There are a range of services, initiatives and organisations contributing to preventing suicide. This includes suicide prevention training and services delivered into communities. There are also a range of Māori and Pacific community suicide prevention programmes including Waka Hourua and Kia Piki te Ora.

Note: The information above provides a summary some of the services and resources available.

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