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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 district. 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

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 SDHB 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
  • Youthline 
    0800 376633, free txt 234 or email
  • Lifeline
    0800 543 354 or text “help” to 4357
    24/7 helpline with qualified counsellors and trained volunteers.
  • 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
  • What’s up?
    0800 942 8787
    This is 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. More information here
  • Family Drug Support Aotearoa New Zealand 
    They offer a nationwide 0800 337877 phone support service 9am-10pm, 7 days per week. The support line is staffed by trained volunteers. 
  • National Anxiety Helpline
    0800 269 4389 (0800 ANXIETY)
    A free 24/7 help line with trained volunteers.
  • Samaritans
    0800 726 666
    A free 24/7 help line operated by volunteers to support those experiencing everything from loneliness to despair.
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


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