Mate Pāpouri | Depression

Feeling low or sad at times is normal for everyone at one time or another. When these feelings don’t go away, even when things improve, it could be a sign of depression. Depression takes many different forms and people experience depression differently. Dealing with depression can be challenging, but there are people, services and resources to help. 


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

  • 1 in 7 will 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

  • constantly feeling down or hopeless 
  • having little interest or pleasure in doing things you used to enjoy.

Other possible signs and symptoms

  • irritability or restlessness
  • feeling tired all the time, or a general loss of energy
  • feeling empty, lonely
  • sleeping problems - 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 also feel anxious. The symptoms of anxiety and depression can overlap. You might want to take a look at the Wellbeing Hub anxiety page for more information too.


Strategies for supporting yourself

  • Seek out professional support. There are plenty of people and services at UC who can help, have a look here.
  • Connect with friends and family. Talk to them about what is going on for you and how they can best support you.
  • Eat well. This can 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 something 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. This can be easier said than done, but a few of our students have some tips to share with you. Check them out here

Strategies for supporting others

People experiencing depression can be very withdrawn, lethargic, self-ruminating and possibly suicidal. A concerned friend can provide valuable support. Talking candidly with the individual regarding your concern for their well-being will often help bring problems out into the open.

As you talk: 

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

If you believe the person to be suicidal, or you hold serious concerns for his/her well-being, urge the person 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.