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Mate Pāpouri

18 August 2023

Feeling low or sad at times is normal for everyone. If these feelings don’t go away, however, it could be a sign of depression. Depression takes many forms and people experience it differently. Dealing with it can be challenging but there are lots of people, services, and resources to help. Learn more and get support.


If you’re experiencing depression, you’re certainly not alone. At some point in their life, many people will go through it: 

  • 1 in 7 experience depression before they are 24 years old
  • 1 in 8 men will experience depression 
  • 1 in 5 women will experience depression
  • 1 in 4 New Zealanders will experience anxiety 
  • 1 in 5 people with depression or anxiety will experience both at the same time 


Key signs

  • Depressed mood: frequently feeling down, hopeless, empty
  • Loss of interest/pleasure: having little interest or pleasure in things that you used to enjoy.


Other possible signs and symptoms

  • irritability or restlessness
  • feeling tired all the time, or a general loss of energy
  • sleeping problems - either sleeping too much or too little
  • losing or gaining weight
  • feeling bad about yourself or things you have done
  • problems with concentration 
  • reduced sex drive 
  • thinking about death a lot
  • thoughts of harming yourself 

It is common for people who have depression to experience anxiety as well. If you think you might be experiencing depression, you might want to take a look at the Wellbeing Hub anxiety page for more information too.


Strategies for supporting yourself

  • Seek professional support. There are plenty of people and services at UC who can help - find out about these here.
  • Talk with friends and family. Share what is going on for you and how they can best support you.
  • Eat well. This can certainly feel hard to achieve as a university student, but it isn’t impossible. Hear from our students with their tips and tricks.
  • Stay active and do things that makes you feel good. There are heaps of ways on and around campus for you to rest, relax and recharge. Here are a few suggestions from current UC students.
  • Limit your alcohol use. Check out this video to hear from some current UC students as they discuss drinking responsibly.
  • Practice good sleep habits. Again, this can be easier said than done, but a few of our students have some tips. Check them out here


Strategies for supporting others

People experiencing depression can be very withdrawn, lethargic, self-ruminating and possibly suicidal. Being a concerned and supportive friend can be invaluable for them during that time. Talking candidly with the person regarding your concern for their wellbeing is the first step. As you talk: 

  • Express your concern and willingness to help 
  • Be supportive, patient and non-judgmental
  • Avoid trying to cheer up the person  
  • Avoid saying “I know how you feel” 

If you believe that the person is suicidal, or you hold serious concerns for their wellbeing, encourage them to seek professional help. You can use some of the support information provided on this website to help you with this.  


Support on-campus

If you or someone you know is in distress on campus, please contact UC Security on 0800 823 637


Support off-campus


 Need More Information?


Need Help?


If you require urgent or crisis mental health care please call Crisis Resolution on 0800 920 092 or dial 111.


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