1493260532335 - Your mental health experience

Your mental health experience

One in six New Zealand adults have been diagnosed with a mental illness at some point in their lives.

Mental health is tipped to become an election issue as calls for a national inquiry grow louder and a service user-led review found the system is under-resourced.

It’s also making headlines internationally, as Netflix teen drama 13 Reasons Why sparks conversations on sexual assault and suicide, and Britain’s young royals promote conversations on mental health with their Heads Together campaign.

Stuff is exploring how people experiencing mental distress are cared for in our country and how the delivery of care has changed over the years.

We are charting the evolution of treatment from the days of the first asylums in the 1850s, through to the current community care model, and we want to hear your stories.

Have you, or a relative, used mental health services? Have you worked in the mental health sector at some point as a doctor, nurse, orderly, chaplain, peer support worker or caretaker? Perhaps you have a keen interest in how our mental health system works, which has led you to research or further exploration?

Please share your experience by hitting the button below or emailing stuffnation@stuff.co.nz. You can write a submission or simply send us your contact details and a brief overview of your story.


Lifeline (open 24/7) – 0800 543 354

Depression Helpline (open 24/7) – 0800 111 757

Healthline (open 24/7) – 0800 611 116

Samaritans (open 24/7) – 0800 726 666

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

Youthline (open 24/7) – 0800 376 633. You can also text 234 for free between 8am and midnight, or email talk@youthline.co.nz

0800 WHATSUP children’s helpline – phone 0800 9428 787 between 1pm and 10pm on weekdays and from 3pm to 10pm on weekends. Online chat is available from 7pm to 10pm every day at www.whatsup.co.nz.

Kidsline (open 24/7) – 0800 543 754. This service is for children aged 5 to 18. Those who ring between 4pm and 9pm on weekdays will speak to a Kidsline buddy. These are specially trained teenage telephone counsellors.

Your local Rural Support Trust – 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP)

Alcohol Drug Helpline (open 24/7) – 0800 787 797. You can also text 8691 for free.

For further information, contact the Mental Health Foundation’s free Resource and Information Service (09 623 4812).

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