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If you need help, please reach out. There is support for you. It’s natural and understandable to have a range of emotions at this time, and these may go up and down. This is normal and you’re not alone.  

Mental wellbeing affects our ability to maintain healthy relationships, do our jobs and cope with stress or anger. Sometimes we don’t realise how things are really affecting us so here are some common signs of mental/emotional distress to look out for in yourself and others. 

To find out what mental wellbeing support services are available, download our Traffic Light Guide or pick up a copy from locations around the region. Designed to help you look after your mental wellbeing, the guide covers tips for what to do in an immediate mental health crisis (red), where to get extra support (orange), and how to keep yourself and others well (green).  There are also links to a number of online self-help tools you can use to support your mental wellbeing, including self-help tools for young people. 

Our friends and whānau can often provide support but sometimes it’s helpful to share our worries with a trained professional. Here’s a handy guide to assist you in finding the right help to suit your needs, plus some tips for what you can do to prepare ahead of your appointment.  It's totally OK to try different therapies – everyone is different and it might take time to find the right fit or combination for you.

More advice and resources are listed below.  For the latest updates on Southern Lakes region initiatives, resources, and wellbeing tips, follow our Te Hau Toka Facebook page and sign up to our monthly email newsletter

Wellbeing Guides over Christmas/New Year period

Services are often closed over Christmas or have an on-call roster so that our carers, who do so much to help others, get a break to spend time with loved ones and recharge their own batteries. Here are some key numbers and helpful resources if you, or someone you know, needs support over the next few weeks until everyone is back at work.

Queenstown Lakes mental wellbeing guide Getting help over Christmas New Year 2023-24

Fiordland Mental wellbeing guide Getting help over Christmas New Year 2023-24

Cromwell and Alexandra Mental wellbeing guide Getting help over Christmas New Year 2023-24


Mental health emergency pathways

Ring 111 if it is an immediate emergency.

Crisis Mental Health Emergency Services (SDHB) are on call 24/7. Ring 0800 467 846 and press 1 for Southland or 2 for Otago. It’s useful to have a support person/advocate with the person to identify any issues to Health New Zealand - Te Whatu Ora Southern staff.

Helpful websites and apps
There are some COVID-19-specific information and tools to support your own and others’ mental wellbeing and where to get help if you need it and you can also check out QLDC’s community wellbeing webpage or the links below for a range of great information.

There are also some great apps which can provide support and help you track your progress.  Here's a good overview.

National helplines
  • 1737 nationwide 24/7
    Free call or text anytime to talk to a qualified counsellor. Visit the website for details.
  • Youthline 
    0800 376633, free txt 234 or email Visit the website for details.
  • Lifeline
    0800 543 354 or text “help” to 4357.  24/7 helpline with qualified counsellors and trained volunteers. Visit the website for details.
  • Suicide Crisis Helpline
    0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
    A free, nationwide service operated by highly trained and experienced phone counsellors who have undergone advanced suicide prevention training. Visit the website for details.
  • Samaritans
    0800 726 666
    A free 24/7 helpline operated by volunteers to support those experiencing everything from loneliness to despair. Visit the website for details.
  • Anxiety Helpline
    0800 269 4389 (0800 ANXIETY)
    A free 24/7 helpline staffed by trained volunteers. Visit the website for details.
  • Depression Helpline
    0800 111 757 or text 4202
    A free 24/7 helpline. Visit the website for details.
  • Women's Refuge 
    0800 733 843 (0800 REFUGE)
    A 24/7 free crisis line for information and safe housing for women, young people and children experiencing abuse. Visit the website for details.
  • PlunketLine
    0800 933 922
    A free 24/7 parent helpline and advice service available to all families, whānau and caregivers. Calls are also free from mobile phones. Visit the website for details.
  • What’s up?
    0800 942 8787
    A nationwide, confidential counselling helpline for children and young people. Counsellors are available 365 days a year and it's free to call, including from a mobile phone. Visit the website for details.
  • OutLine Aotearoa
    0800 688 5463
    Confidential, all ages support line, rainbow specialist counselling and trans peer support. Visit the website for details.
  • Healthline
    0800 611 116
    For trusted health advice, treatment and information about what to do next.  Nurses, paramedics, advisors, and doctors who can help with prescriptions, are available 24/7. You can choose to speak with a Māori clinician if you’re calling between 8am - 8pm. Interpreter services are available and NZ Relay support.  Visit the website for details.
  • Family Drug Support Aotearoa New Zealand 
    0800 337877
    Phone support service 9am-10pm, 7 days per week staffed by trained volunteers. Visit the website for details.
  • Gambling Helpline
    0800 654 655 or text 8006
    Free and confidential support for your gambling. Visit the website for details.
  • For more helplines, visit .

    Other national support
  • For bereaved by suicide support visit the Aoake te Ra website for more details.  This is a free service that provides support and manaaki to individuals and whānau who have lost someone to suicide.  
  • For male survivors of sexual abuse to access a national network of  support services, visit the Male Survivors Aotearoa website.
Agency resources

Agencies are welcome to use the directories and resources below to help connect people to free support services available across the region:

Traffic Light Guide

1737 posters

1737 Queenstown posters A4


New/expectant parents



Older people


Fiordland Community Connections Directory 2023

Pregnant in Fiordland Info Brochure

Fiordland New Families Booklet 2023

Loss and Grief Resources

Downloadable resources from the Loss and Grief Centre
The journey through grief

Talking about sadness, loss and grief

Grief, anniversaries and significant events

Supporting someone who is grieving

Grieving when your loss is not acknowledged by others

Children and grief

Adolescents and grief

Helping teenagers grieve

Helping your child cope with the sudden death of a friend

Helping bereaved siblings


Helping yourself when baby dies

Grieving the loss of a parent:
Losing a parent can be a life-defining moment for many of us.  
Dr Lucy Hone’s blog delves into the unique challenges of grieving a parent with some helpful ways to navigate the void. 

A Better Way to Grieve:
A Better Way to Grieve is a live, online course working with Dr Lucy Hone and Dr Denise Quinlan.  It's 3 x two-hour sessions and participants recommend it as "transformative". You can book a free 1-on-1 call with Dr Lucy Hone to check whether it's a good fit for you.  They also run a great Facebook support group called Coping with Loss Community

Resources from the Loss and Grief Centre's workshop in 2021:

1. The grief journey
Learn about why we grieve and how best to support those around us who are grieving:
- A video presentation from Matthew Flynn, a grief counsellor from the Grief Centre in Wellington
- A presentation from WellSouth local Health Improvement Practitioner Lecretia Fietje on the importance of just being present and willing to listen in someone’s darkest moments through grief
- Local networks that support families who have lost a child as well as the work that Pauline Trotter from Compassionate Friends does in the area. 

2.  Loss and Grief of a baby/child
Learn how to support those experiencing child loss, including what other parents have shared about what worked for them. This included:
- A video presentation from Sands* counsellor Vicki Culling –The Grief Centre 
- Queenstown Sands Coordinator Natasha Murray spoke about where to find local help and support and her own personal journey losing a baby. 
* Sands New Zealand is a network of parent-run, non-profit groups supporting families who have experienced the death of a baby. There are more than 25 groups or contact people around the country.

3. Pre/postvention Suicide workshop
- Presentation from WellSouth Suicide Prevention/Postvention Coordinator Karyn Munro about her role and the local service and resources available in the Central Lakes area.
- Lisa Gear, Mental Wellbeing Navigator for the district, shared how to find supports and services

Find out more about mental health services in the Southern region: