Mental health helpline usage up 20pct over holiday period

Teenager sending email from smart phone in her bed, Typing text message on smartphone. young cell phone addict teen  awake at night in bed using smartphone for chatting
Photo credit: Getty

Mental health helpline use has risen significantly over the holiday period, with 20 people reaching out to telehealth services over Christmas and New Year.

National Telehealth Service chief executive Andrew Slater says, for some, the festive season may not be the most wonderful time of the year.

"For a large number of New Zealanders, it's just a reminder of loss and loneliness, and those are the people that we're seeing reach out at this period of time," he told Newshub.

Mr Slater says many young people accessing the services ask for help through text, rather than on the phone.

"Young people are increasingly wanting to use text message to contact us and nearly twice as many 17-24-year olds will get in contact with us over text than they will over phone calls," he said.

Where to find help and support:

  • 'Need to Talk' Call or text 1737
  • Lifeline: 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland
  • Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
  • Healthline: 0800 611 116
  • Samaritans: 0800 726 666
  • Depression Helpline: 0800 111 757
  • Mental Health Foundation

Newshub.