Coronavirus: Civil Defence urges struggling Kiwis to reach out during lockdown

Civil Defence is urging people to still reach out if they need help during the coronavirus lockdown. 

People should check-in with each other via the internet and also stick to a routine during the lockdown period, Civil Defence emergency management director Sarah Stuart-Black says.

"We know that things are really tough right now - especially for people living with mental illness," she told reporters on Friday.

"If you don't live with mental illness, you might still feel really stressed and anxious by COVID-19 and this is completely normal.

"Reach out to your other support over the phone; family, whānau, friends, and workmates. We also recommend sticking to a routine such as having regular mealtimes, bedtimes, and exercising."

For those not coping, Stuart-Black said it was important they still talk with health professionals. She urged anyone suffering from anxiety, stress, or mental wellbeing to text 1737 free at any time to speak with a trained counsellor.

"Please don't hesitate," Stuart-Black said.

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Keep it local

People are again being asked not to associate with others outside "their bubble" during the coronavirus lockdown. 

Stuart-Black said there were a few incidents on Thursday - the first day of the lockdown - where people were found to be breaching the new restrictions.

The advice from officials is to keep it local when it comes to getting some fresh air during the lockdown.

People can drive to exercise but only if it's nearby, Stuart-Black said.