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Mental health support

18 August 2023

Sometimes the stresses of life can affect our mood and wellbeing. Have a look at our mental health support tips and services below and get in touch straight away if you need support.


If you're feeling down or anxious, there are lots of people who can help


For urgent mental health support, phone Crisis Resolution 0800 920 092 or Lifeline 0800 543 354

Basic tips for feeling better 

Looking after your wellbeing is a key part of leading a happy and healthy life. Students and staff can contribute to their own mental wellbeing in a number of different ways. Here is a list of tips adapted from factsheets:

  • Stay active: depression often leads to a drop in energy and motivation, but oftentimes the less you do, the worse you feel. Physical activity is a great way to help deal with mild to moderate depression, as it improves your health and enhances your feelings of self-esteem. Do what you can, when you can, and don’t worry if you don’t stick to the plan. 
  • Do things you enjoy: losing interest or enjoyment in the things you used to love doing is a common symptom of depression. If you keep at it, it helps to bring the enjoyment back. Plan things to look forward to.
  • Increase social activities: depression often makes us want to withdraw from people but this can lead to a cycle of isolation. It’s important to stay connected to help break the cycle of depression.
  • Get a Green Prescription: this ‘prescription’ is given by a GP or nurse to put you in touch with a person who will help you to find suitable activity options in your locality and support you for a certain length of time.
  • Reduce stress: give yourself the time and space to clear your thoughts and relax. If you are feeling overwhelmed, postpone making any major life changes.
  • Resolve personal conflicts: unresolved relationship issues can be very stressful and can increase your risk of depression. If you are feeling stuck and don’t seem able to sort things out, try talking to a counsellor or psychologist who can help you find ways of addressing your problems.
  • Learn some relaxation techniques: try yoga, meditation, visualisation, etc.
  • Improve your sleep: lack of sleep can increase depression and depression can result in a lack of sleep! Ask your GP for some successful sleeping tips.
  • Ask for help: sometimes it is difficult to see a way through problems by yourself. There are people who are willing, able and available to help you. If your request for help isn’t heard, ask again, or try to find someone else who will listen.


Get help at UC

  • UC Health Centre offers free counselling to UC students.
  • The Student Care Team is available to give advice on the issues affecting you and can direct you to ongoing support if needed.
  • The UC Psychology Centre offers students an opportunity to participate in a wide range of psychological assessments and treatments.
  • The Chaplains can help if you are looking for someone to connect and talk about what's going on for you


Support services outside of UC

  • Anxiety NZ: A non-profit organisation working for people who experience or support others who have any form of anxiety. Freephone 0800 269 438
  • Depression Helpline Understanding more about depression can help you find a way through. Call the Depression Helpline to talk to a trained counsellor about how you are feeling or to ask any questions. Freephone 0800 111 757.
  • Lifeline A 24-hour counselling service. Call toll-free on 0800 543 354
  • The Lowdown Helping young Kiwis understand and deal with depression. Take the self-test or get on the message board, send text messages for free to 5626, or email the
  • Mental Health Advocacy and Peer Support (MHAPS)
    A peer-led, Christchurch-based charitable trust to assist people who experience mental distress/mental illness and/or addictions
  • Mental Health Education and Resource Centre (MHERC)
    A free mental health library and coordinating service for everyone in Christchurch and the South Island of New Zealand
  • Suicide Prevention Line Provides support, information and resources to people at risk of suicide, family/whanau, friends affected by suicide and people supporting someone with suicidal thoughts and/or suicidal behaviours: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO).
  • Youthline Provides development opportunities and confidential support for young people from all walks of life all over Aotearoa New Zealand. They are available to talk with young people no matter what is happening. Call 0800 37 66 33, free text 234 or email
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