Support available for coping with distress or stress

Free call helplines: 

Need to talk? Call or text any time 1737. 

Lifeline 0800 543 354 or text HELP to 4357. 

24/7 Suicide Crisis Helpline on 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO). This is a service for people who may be thinking about suicide, or those concerned about family or friends. 

Depression Helpline 0800 111 757 (24/7) or text 4202. 

The Samaritans 0800 726 666 (24/7). 

Youthline 0800 376 633 (24/7) or free text 234 (8am to midnight), or email 

A summary of Ministry of Health advice:  

 We are all impacted by what’s happened in Christchurch.  

 Children are asking what’s happened? Why did it happen? Why are people upset? 

1.      Reassure them that the event is over and they are safe. 

2.      Encourage them to talk about how they feel. 

3.      Encourage them to ask questions and answer them in plain language, be honest but avoid details. 

4.      Give your children extra love, attention and your time. 

5.      Remember that children look to us as parents and teachers to feel safe and to know how to respond – reassure them, share that you are upset too.   


And for the wider community, the thing to know is that after a traumatic event it is normal to feel distressed, anxious and maybe even angry. Take care of yourselves:  

1.     Spend time in places that feel safe and comfortable.  

2.     Tell yourself that how you are feeling is a normal reaction and it will pass.  

3.     Reach out to family and whānau, friends, workmates.  

4.     Keep to usual routines.  

5.     Keep active.    


Try not to:  

1.      Talk about details of the traumatic event repeatedly – talking about feelings is helpful, but avoid repeatedly talking about what happened, of the detail of the event, what you saw, and so on. 

2.      Being constantly reminded of the event is not helpful – turn off Facebook and the news if it’s distressing you.  

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