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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Helplines for mental health issues

Ngā waea āwhina mō ngā raruraru hauora hinengaro


If you are concerned about someone's behaviour and think they may harm themselves or someone else, call the Police on 111.

If they are safe but in a crisis and need help, you can contact your local mental health crisis team:

For children and young people up to the age of 18, call the Child Adolescent & Family Emergency team (CAFEm):


There are several helplines you can call if you need to talk to someone.

Suicide Crisis Helpline

Phone: 0508-TAUTOKO (0508-828-865)

The Suicide Crisis Helpline is a free, nationwide service available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is operated by highly trained and experienced telephone counsellors who have undergone advanced suicide prevention training.

1737, need to talk?

Phone: 1737 or 0800-1737-1737

Txt: 1737

If you feel anxious, down, a bit overwhelmed or just need someone to talk to, call or txt 1737 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 1737 is staffed by a team of paid counsellors who can talk to you if you have mental health or addiction problems. A counsellor will work with you to develop a care plan. This could include referring you to another service. It might also include giving you more counselling or information and support.

Anxiety Helpline

Phone: 0800-ANXIETY (0800-269-4389)

You can call the Anxiety Helpline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It has trained and understanding counsellors who can talk you through your problems with anxiety or panic.

Depression Helpline

Phone: 0800-111-757

Txt: 4202

The Depression Helpline is a free helpline that you can call or txt 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It has trained counsellors who can talk you through your problems and suggest help in your area.


Phone: 0800-LIFELINE (0800-543-354)

Txt: HELP (4357)

Lifeline is a free confidential professional counselling service available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Phone: 0800-726-666

Samaritans provides confidential emotional support to those experiencing loneliness, depression, despair, distress or suicidal feelings. It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Phone: 0800-688-5463

OutLine is an all-ages rainbow mental health organisation providing support to the rainbow community, their friends, whānau (families) and those questioning. Phone the support line or chat online from 6 pm to 9 pm any evening. Trained volunteers from the LGBTIQ+ communities answer calls. OutLine also offers face-to-face or video counselling. There is a charge for the counselling.

Rural Support Trust

Phone: 0800-787-254

The Rural Support Trust can provide free confidential advice from a coordinator familiar with rural issues.

Helplines for children, teens & young adults

If you are a tamaiti (child) or rangatahi (young person), you can contact one of the following helplines.


Phone: 0800-376-633

Txt: 234

Any rangatahi in New Zealand, or anyone supporting a rangatahi, can call Youthline for help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can txt between 8 am and midnight. You can chat online with a counsellor from 5 pm to 9 pm via the Youthline website. You can also email any time. Counsellors aim to reply to emails within 24 hours. So, if you need help immediately it is better to phone, txt, or use the online chat. See Youthline's website for counselling options using Skype.

0800 What's Up?

Phone: 0800-WHATS-UP (0800-942-8787)

0800 What's Up? is a safe place for you to talk about anything at all. Its website also has lots of useful information for tamariki (children), rangatahi and whānau about subjects like grief, bullying, feeling sad, dating, gender identity and suicide. You can call Monday to Friday, 12 noon to 11 pm and weekends, 3 pm to 11 pm. You can also chat to a counsellor online from 5 pm to 10 pm.

The Lowdown

Txt: 5626

The Lowdown team are an experienced group of counsellors. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can contact them any time by txt or by email via their website.

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed November 2023.

Page reference: 553933

Review key: HIHMI-138165