Open a PDF version to print this topic

HealthInfo Canterbury

Helplines for mental health issues


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

If they're 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):

Helplines for adults

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, seven days a week. It's operated by highly trained and experienced telephone counsellors who've 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 24 hours a day, seven 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, giving you additional counselling or giving you information and support.

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, seven 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, seven days a week.


Phone: 0800-726-666


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

Helplines for children, teens & young adults

If you're a child or young person, you can contact one of the following helplines.


Phone: 0800-376-633

Txt: 234



Any young person in New Zealand, or anyone supporting a young person, can call Youthline for help 24 hours a day, seven 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's 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 children, teens and families 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're available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can contact them any time by txt or by email via their website.

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed December 2020.

Page reference: 553933

Review key: HIHMI-138165