A resurgence in the virus in New Zealand prompted a nationwide move to Alert Level 4 last week, a move which has impacted some people’s mental and physical wellbeing.
Dr Vanessa Caldwell, Clinical Executive for MidCentral DHB’s Mental Health and Addictions Services, said there had been significant spikes in calls to Healthline, Youthline and 1737 following the move to lockdown.
“As we saw last year, the move to Alert Level 4 has created heightened levels of stress, anxiety and isolation for many people, but there is help available for those who need it,” Ms Caldwell said.
“It is always OK to ask for help. We have all been affected by COVID-19 in some way, so if you or someone you know needs support or guidance, please know there are several options to look into.”
“You can call or text 1737 at any time, at no cost, to talk to a trained counsellor if you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, depressed or would just like someone to talk to.”
Dr Syed Zaman, Clinical Executive for Healthy Ageing and Rehabilation at MDHB, said one of the most vulnerable groups during the lockdown were older people.
“This is not just because of risk connected to transmission of COVID-19, but also for the feeling of isolation many feel while their whānau and friends keep their physical distance.
“In many cases whānau are keeping their distance from their elderly relatives to keep them safe, but there are still so many things you can do to make sure they are OK.
“If you or someone you know is in this vulnerable group, stay connected to them. This could be a phone call, text message, email, or video call. Whichever you choose, it is important to reach out and check up on loved ones.”
Dr Zaman said people who are feeling isolated could try these steps:
- Sticking to a schedule or routine
- Limiting your time online
- Moving your body daily
- Exploring your local neighbourhood
- Staying connected to friends and whānau
“Everyone needs some support every now and again. If you or someone you know is struggling, don’t hesitate to make use of the free support services available to you.
“Continue to look after one another, be kind, and together we can stamp out this virus once again.”
For free mental health and addiction support services, call or text 1737, or visit the 1737 website https://1737.org.nz
Healthline: phone 0800 611 116
Depression Helpline: phone 0800 111 757 or text 4202
Mental Health Crisis Team: phone 0800 653 357
Alcohol & Drug Helpline: phone 0800 787 797 or text 8681
Safe to talk: Sexual harm helpline: phone 0800 044 334 or text 4334
Gambling Helpline: phone 0800 654 655 or text 8006
Quitline: phone 0800 778 778 or text 4006
OUTline: phone 0800 688 5463
Youthline: phone 0800 376 633
Oranga Tamariki: phone 0508 326 45
Just a Thought: https://www.justathought.co.nz