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, Central Otago or Fiordland?
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), where to get extra support (orange), and how to keep yourself and others 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.
Agencies are welcome to use the directories and resources below to help connect people to free support services available across the region:
Wakatipu New and Expectant Parents Support Directory
Wakatipu Child and Youth Support Directory
Upper Clutha New and Expectant Parents Support Directory
Central Otago New and Expectant Parents Support Directory
Fiordland Support Directory
Wakatipu Older Persons Support Directory
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.
The group is being guided by the national Kia Kaha, Kia Māia, Kia Ora Aotearoa: COVID-19 Psychosocial and Mental Wellbeing Plan.
Te Hau Toka initiatives
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.