There are a huge number of wellbeing related support services available for free in NZ. This article outlines a number of these services, what they offer and how to access them. Remember it’s ok to not be ok, but it’s important to take steps to strengthen your whare walls and balance your hauora.

Support Service: Mentemia

Lara Thompson

Contact Details: You can experience Mentemia for free via the Apple App store or Google Play store.

What: A wellbeing app that provides personalised ideas on how to look after your wellbeing. There are activities, quizzes, readings and tools that you can use.

Support Offered: Kiwi Rugby icon John Kirwan is the co-founder of Mentemia. Mentemia is packed with evidence-based ideas and tools to help you learn how to be well, and stay well. It helps you deal with the most common stressors we experience in the modern connected world today – poor sleep, anxiety and stress. These stressors, if left unattended, can significantly impact your quality of life at home and work. With Mentemia, you’ll discover what things can help you feel more energised, more productive, and better equipped for whatever the world throws at you today.

Support Service: Live Up To You

Lara Thompson

Contact Details: https://liveuptoyou.org/

What: Website that provides challenges and steps to improve your wellbeing

Support Offered: Take control of your Health and Wellbeing one little step at a time. ‘Live Up To You’ is about living up to your expectations, your life path and being the best version of yourself you can be. It’s about self-empowerment and taking control of your health and wellbeing one little challenge or step at a time. ‘Live Up To You’ provides small, effective strategies in the form of challenges or simple steps. The challenges/steps can be implemented by anyone and everyone: individuals, groups, clubs, businesses, schools and communities. Go ahead and try a strategy from Project 2020 or a Wellbeing Challenge. In response to COVID-19 ‘Live Up To You’ has created the ‘Live Up’ COVID COMMUNITY. This was set up to support kiwis with practical wellbeing resources that can be used for these extraordinary circumstances of social distancing, community lockdown and quarantine. Check it out.

Support Service: SPARX

Lara Thompson

Contact Details: https://www.sparx.org.nz/about

Support Offered: This one is definitely one for the gamers! SPARX is an online e-therapy tool provided by the University of Auckland that helps young people learn skills to deal with feeling down or depressed. It can also help if you’re feeling anxious or stressed. At the start of SPARX you will meet the Guide. The Guide explains what SPARX is and how it could help you. You will then customise your avatar and journey to the seven provinces to complete quests that restore the world’s balance and defeat the pesky negative thoughts, called Gnats. Along the way, you will meet different characters, solve puzzles and complete mini games. As you complete each quest, the Guide will explain how you can use your new skills to feel better, solve problems and enjoy life in the real world. Each level takes about half an hour. Try doing one or two levels each week. SPARX is made to help young people who are feeling down, depressed or anxious.

Support Service: Allright.org

Lara Thompson

Contact Details: https://www.allright.org.nz/

Support Offered: At this tough time, it’s more important than ever for us to be kind, keep in touch and band together. On this site they share some of the simple things we can do to look after ourselves and others. We all see things a little differently – but we will get through this, together.

Support Service: Melon

Lara Thompson

Contact Details: https://www.melonhealth.com/covid-19/

What: An interactive app that provides wellbeing tips, planners, activities and forums.

Support Offered: This app gives you the opportunity to reach out to an online community of Kiwis who may be experiencing the same thoughts and feelings you are, while also providing a health journal, self-awareness tools and other useful resources. Melon will be updated with additional resources for teens and young adults in the coming weeks.

Support Service:Staying on Track

Lara Thompson

Contact Details: https://www.justathought.co.nz/covid19

What: Online course to help develop knowledge and skill to manage stress and anxiety

Support Offered: A guide to support your wellbeing during COVID-19 – This free online course introduces easy-to-use, practical strategies to cope with the stress and disruption of day-to-day life as an impact of COVID-19. This is a more structured step-by-step online course compared to some of the other support services. The course will teach you how to support your mental and emotional health, through learning how to look after your worry and learning how to choose behaviours that will help you and your whānau stay on track.

Support Service: The Low Down

Lara Thompson

Contact Details: www.thelowdown.co.nz, PH – 0800 111 757, TXT – 5626

What: Website that provides an online chat with support counsellors and other helpful resources. A phone and txt support service.

Support Offered: STRAIGHT UP ANSWERS FOR WHEN LIFE SUCKS – Sometimes life’s ups and downs are more than just the usual ups and downs. The Lowdown provides 24/7 support. On the website young people can find:

  • Helpful information on anxiety, depression (and other issues they may be struggling with like leaving school or getting on with their parents).

  • Videos of 12 young people telling their stories.

  • Quick steps to help build healthy mental wellbeing.

  • Healthy behaviours to build resilience.

  • 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.

There is also a link to a web chat where you can chat online to a support counsellor. If you don’t want to go online you can also access support by texting or calling The Lowdown on: PH – 0800 111 757, TXT – 5626

Other Support Services:

Mental health helplines

Depression and Anxiety Helpline – 0800 111 757 or free text 4202 (to talk to a trained counsellor about how you are feeling or to ask any questions)

www.depression.org.nz – includes The Journal online support tool

1737 – Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor.

Lifeline – 0800 543 354 or free text 4357 (HELP)

Youthline – 0800 376 633

Anxiety phone line – 0800 269 4389 (0800 ANXIETY)

Sexuality or gender identity helpline

OUTLine NZ – 0800 688 5463 (OUTLINE) provides confidential telephone support, available evenings from 6pm–9pm.

Help for parents, family and friends

EDANZ – improving outcomes for people with eating disorders and their families. Freephone 0800 2 EDANZ or 0800 233 269, or in Auckland 09 522 2679. Or email info@ed.org.nz.

Parent Help – 0800 568 856 for parents/whānau seeking support, advice and practical strategies on all parenting concerns. Anonymous, non-judgemental and confidential.

Family Services 211 Helpline – 0800 211 211 for help finding (and direct transfer to) community based health and social support services in your area.

Skylight – 0800 299 100 for support through trauma, loss and grief; 9am–5pm weekdays.

Supporting Families In Mental Illness – For families and whānau supporting a loved one who has a mental illness. Auckland 0800 732 825. Find other regions’ contact details here.

Other specialist helplines

Alcohol and Drug Helpline – 0800 787 797 or online chat

Are You OK – 0800 456 450 family violence helpline

Shine – 0508 744 633 confidential domestic abuse helpline

Quit Line – 0800 778 778 smoking cessation help