Support Services & Helplines
Parents who get the support and help that they need with parenting are more relaxed and better able to look after their children. If the mother or father is mentally unwell, extra support is essential to help with their recovery, and we encourage anyone to seek advice from a GP, Midwife, or Plunket nurse in the first instance. Support from family/whānau, extended family, friends and other parents may not always be possible or be enough for some families. Extra community support may be needed.
If you or someone else is in immediate danger, please dial 111 for assistance.
For mental health emergencies contact your local crisis team (opens in new tab)
If you would like to talk to someone, try one of the following services as a first step, or contact your doctor.
1737, Need to talk? – Free call or text 1737 to talk to a trained counsellor
Lifeline – 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland
Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
Anxiety New Zealand – 0800 ANXIETY (0800 269 4389)
Healthline – 0800 611 116
Rural Support Trust – 0800 787 254
Samaritans – 0800 726 666
Little Shadow for volunteer counsellors that specialise in this area
Depression 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 help service
SPARX.org.nz – online e-therapy tool provided by the University of Auckland that helps young people learn skills to deal with feeling down, depressed or stressed
Help for parents, family and friends
Plunketline – A toll-free parent helpline and advice service available to all families, whānau and caregivers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call 0800 933 922 for parenting help. Calls are free from cell phones.
Plunket Family Centres – Plunket Family Centres provide a free service, offering practical support and information on different whānau topics: 09 489 9778
Commonground – a website hub providing parents, family, whānau and friends with access to information, tools and support to help a young person who is struggling
Parent Help – Helpline for support, advice and help on how best to support your family – 0800 568 856
Family Services 211 Helpline – 0800 211 211 for help finding (and direct transfer to) community based health and social support services in your area
Family Start – An intensive home visiting programme, focused on tamariki. The programme works with whānau to improve a child’s health, learning and relationships.
Birthright – Support for one-parent families – 04 802 5377
Skylight – 0800 299 100 (for support through trauma, loss and grief; 9am-5pm weekdays)
Supporting Families In Mental Illness – 0800 732 825 (for families and whānau supporting a loved one who has a mental illness)
Bellyful – 0508 BELLYFUL (0508 2355938) Free meal service for parents and families.
Crying Over Spilt Milk – 07 855 9350 – Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ
Budget Advice Services – 04 471 1420
Grandparents Raising Grandchildren – Free call: 0800 GRANDS (0800 472 637) A registered national charity providing specialised services, advocacy and caregiver education programs to over 5,800 full-time grandparent and whānau care families.
Help for New Fathers
Kidz Need Dadz – Their mission is to help New Zealand men be the best fathers they can be. Through education and support they help dads to play an active part in their children’s lives. As well as supporting fathers, they educate the broader community about the need for dads to be involved with their children. They help with parenting, relationship separation, assistance with legal advice and mentoring, information on health and wellbeing services for men, and events for dads to meet up.
Great Fathers creates resources that new dads can relate to and learn from, and that parenting organisations can use to work with families, provides professional development training around these resources and ways to measure effectiveness, provides workshops to management and staff to share what we have found works with dads.
Multiple specific groups
Helplines for children and young people
What’s Up – 0800 942 8787 (for 5–18 year olds). Phone counselling is available Monday to Friday, midday–11pm and weekends, 3pm–11pm. Online chat is available 7pm–10pm daily.
Kidsline – 0800 54 37 54 (0800 kidsline) for young people up to 18 years of age. Open 24/7.
Other specialist helplines
Are You OK – 0800 456 450 family violence helpline
Gambling Helpline – 0800 654 655
Anxiety phone line – 0800 269 4389 (0800 ANXIETY)
Seniorline – 0800 725 463 A free information service for older people
Shine – 0508 744 633 confidential domestic abuse helpline
Quit Line – 0800 778 778 smoking cessation help
Vagus Line – 0800 56 76 666 (Mon, Wed, Fri 12 noon – 2pm). Promote family harmony among Chinese, enhance parenting skills, decrease conflict among family members (couple, parent-child, in-laws) and stop family violence
Women’s Refuge Crisisline – 0800 733 843 (0800 REFUGE) (for women living with violence, or in fear, in their relationship or family)
Shakti Crisis Line – 0800 742 584 (for migrant or refugee women living with family violence
Rape Crisis – 0800 883 300 (for support after rape or sexual assault)
Warmlines for consumers of mental health services
Free peer support services for people experiencing mental illness or those supporting them
Canterbury and West Coast – 03 379 8415 / 0800 899 276 (1pm to midnight, seven nights)
Wellington – 03 0800 200 207 (7pm–1am, Tuesday to Sunday)