The Southern Lakes region is facing real challenges at the moment, and the whole community is working together to provide people with the support they need.
Need Help in Queenstown Lakes or Central Otago?
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.
To find out what services are available, download our new Traffic Light Guide (below) 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), extra support (orange), and keeping well (green).
For regional health/wellbeing news and tips, follow us on Facebook.
There’s also a host of information about local health and social services online and we recommend checking out the Mental Health Foundation website (Five Ways to Wellbeing) / Facebook and All Right website / Facebook.
Mental Health Awareness Week Activities (27 September – 3 October 2021)
Happiness House activities at 4 Park St, Queenstown:
- Free 30-minute mindfulness sessions on Tuesday 28 September, 1:30-3pm.
- Free Mind and Body dynamic workout with Denise on Wednesday 29 September, 2-3pm in the Happiness House garden. · Knit a colourful patch to help decorate the fence outside Happiness House before 30 September!
- During Level 2 please keep your knitting and bring it in when we’re back at Level 1. For enquiries, please contact Lena on 03 442 65 31.
- Limited spaces available for the mindfulness and workout sessions - book your spot via 03 442 6531 or the Happiness House Facebook page.
Salvation Army workshops, upstairs at 71 Gorge Road, Queenstown:
- How Groceries Can Be Cheaper workshop on Tuesday 28 September, 10-11am.
- Managing Change workshop on Wednesday 29 September, 10-11am.
- Find your amazing! Dare to Dream workshop on Thursday 30 September, 10-11am.
- Getting to Know Yourself self-awareness workshop on Friday 1 October, 10-11am. Limited spaces available – phone 03 422 9661 or book via the Salvation Army Facebook page.
Dads’ Drop-Inn Space:
- If you’re a new dad or finding parenthood a bit challenging at the moment, come to a free TAOBY talk (and food) at Joe’s Garage Five Mile on Tuesday 28 September, 7-9pm, to hear why dads are so important, the difficulties, and tips and tricks to being a great dad.
QLDC library activities:
- Self Help Book Club (on Zoom) on Thursday 30 September, 5.30-6.30pm, to discover some great reads about meditation, relaxation and self-care plus some other gems.
- Meditation in the Library (on Zoom) on Saturday 2 October, 3-4pm. For more information, visit www.codc-qldc.govt.nz
Let's sweat, laugh and move together for mental health:
- Come along to a free outdoor fitness session for the whole community on Saturday 2 October, 12-12.45pm run by the QLDC Sport and Recreation team at Queenstown Events Centre. This is 45 minutes of body weight exercise to music led by qualified instructors, with low-impact options to suit all fitness and ability levels. Bookings are required – please email firstname.lastname@example.org to secure your spot.
Free lunchtime wellbeing webinars by top experts:
- Grow is delivering webinars on a range of topics, including ‘Languishing is the word you might be looking for’ by Dr Sarb Johal, ‘Thriving in the Face of Change, Challenge and Stress - Building Resilience in Teenage Children’ by Edmond Otis, and ‘When It is Darkest: Why People Die by Suicide and What We Can Do to Prevent It’ by Professor Rory O’Connor. Find out more and register here.
It’s all about balance:
- Cre8ing Balance is running a variety of activities, from wellbeing walks to talks on different topics including transition, wellbeing and identity; anxiety; and honest conversations.
- Remember playing Chatterbox at school? Now you can make your own and use it as a fun way to have a kōrero with your kids and whānau about the things that help us to feel good
Activities in Alex
- Mums get-together: On Thursday 29 September, 10:30am-12pm, Mums4Mums Alexandra is inviting whānau to the Baptist Church (5 Gregg St) for a cuppa and a chat about keeping it real when parenting.
- Chat packs: Chat Packs with teabags and a wellbeing tip will be handed at New World Alexandra on Friday 1 October, 10am-12pm, to encourage people to make time to talk over a cuppa. A huge thanks to local groups including Able Minds, Puna Rangitahi, Cromwell Youth Trust, Friendship Group, and The Good Life Group for getting behind this initiative and helping to put together the packs and for chatting with people when handing them out.
- Friday cuppa: Pop in to The Learning Hub at Central Stories, Centennial Ave Alexandra, for a cuppa, chat and help with exploring online wellbeing tools on Friday 1 October, 10am-12pm.
- Fur kids fun: FurKidsNZ is hosting Doga at 1pm and Walkies at 3pm on Sunday 3 October. More information here.
About Te Hau Toka Southern Lakes Wellbeing Group
Te Hau Toka was set up in 2020 in response to community-wide mental health impacts as a result of COVID 19. Members include the Southern District Health Board, WellSouth Primary Health Network, Queenstown Lakes District Council, Central Lakes Family Services, Tāhuna-Whakatipu Māori Community, the Southern Mental Health and Addiction Network Leadership Group, and the Fiordland Wellbeing Collective. The group partners with agencies and networks to help co-ordinate an overall picture of ongoing needs which includes sharing wellbeing concerns, monitoring mental health service capacity, and working together on ways to tackle the wellbeing effects in communities.
By combining knowledge and resources, Te Hau Toka hopes to build awareness of services that are available, connect people with the support they may need and help them to stay well.
Members of the group have been involved in various initiatives to date, including:
- Supporting the Queenstown Lakes District Council’s multi-agency Kia Kaha Hub
- Scoping and establishing a new Mental Wellbeing Navigator role. With Lisa’s support, we are coordinating events and programmes to better connect people with mental health and wellbeing support in their communities.
- Supporting the fast-tracking of WellSouth’s national ’Access and Choice’ mental health initiatives like embedding new Health Improvement Practitioners (HIPs), health coaches and community support workers into primary care, and social workers into schools
- Rolling out the Mental Health 101 psychological first aid programme as well as raising local awareness of the free 1737 counselling support helpline and the Mental Health Foundation’s Getting Through Together campaign
- Better online access to detailed information about health and wellbeing services (Traffic Light Guide) and regular updates.
A new $3 million, two-year Government fund will help support wellbeing needs in Southern communities experiencing ongoing severe effects of COVID-19.
The fund will be administered by the Southern District Health Board (SDHB), guided by Te Hau Toka Southern Lakes Wellbeing.
The new funding means opportunities already identified by the group – like extending the rollout of Mental Health 101 – will be fast-tracked. A key focus will also be on providing tailored support to priority groups such as migrants, businesses, young people, older people, and new/expectant parents.
Te Hau Toka has begun work with affected communities to co-design a plan that best suits their wellbeing needs (expected to be completed in December 2021). A process is also being set up to evaluate and support more initiatives to direct the funding where it’s needed most.
National 24/7 helplines for confidential support and counselling
- Need to Talk? - free call/text 1737 Talk with a trained counsellor, anytime.
- 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. · Youthline - Free call 0800 376 633, free text 234, email email@example.com, webchat
- Samaritans Aotearoa New Zealand - 0800 726 666 Confidential, non-judgemental and non-religious support for anyone who is lonely or in emotional distress.
- Healthline - 0800 611 116: For advice from trained registered nurses.
- Lifeline - 0800 543 354 or free text "Help" to 4357 for counselling and support.
- Suicide Crisis Helpline - 0508 TAUTOKO (0508 828 865) A free nationwide service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week which is operated by highly trained and experienced telephone counsellors who have undergone advanced suicide prevention training.