The government has acknowledged the mental strain on Aotearoa during this level 4 lockdown.
"It's OK to feel overwhelmed, to feel upset or even to feel frustrated because of then this situation is often all of those things," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in Sunday's daily briefing.
She says there was an immediate spike in calls to Youthline at the beginning of the level 4 lockdown which the government responded to with an immediate $275,000 boost. To ensure all the services in this area are supported, the government will provide an extra $1m dollars to existing community-led projects to support youth mental health, particularly in Auckland and Northland who will be staying at level 4 for longer than the rest of the country.
Health Minister Andrew Little says, “We have learned from previous lockdowns that they are particularly challenging for young people and that the greatest need for support for young people in Aotearoa kicks in around two weeks in.
“They can experience higher levels of distress when taken out of normal learning environments and may be in situations that include transient housing and employment.
“This is why we have moved quickly to make funding available for community-led initiatives that focus on supporting mental resilience and wellbeing when youth need it most. Mental health is an important part of the Government’s response to Covid and vital in laying the foundations for a better future for New Zealand.
“Applications for the Fund open tomorrow and we expect to release the funding within the coming weeks,” Minister Little said.
SUPPORT FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS DURING LOCKDOWN
Prime Minister Ardern also said people who are feeling unsafe at home can also seek help.
"Family violence and sexual violence services are considered essential services and are continuing to operate at level 4. If you feel you're in an unsafe environment, you do not need to stay in your home or in your bubble," she said.
For anyone who feels unsafe to talk over the phone, Police have a 'Silent Service', by ringing 111, after a period of silence an option of pressing 55 will be presented. That will then alert the call-taker to arrange assistance.
WHERE TO SEEK HELP:
FREE CALL OR TEXT 1737
YOUTHLINE: 0800 376 633 or FREE TEXT 234
SUICIDE CRISIS: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
LIFELINE: 0800 543 354
A dedicated Pasifika service: 0800 652 535 (0800 OLA LELEI)
FAMILY OR SEXUAL VIOLENCE:
WOMENS REFUGE: 0800 733 843 (NZ 0800 REFUGE)
Family Violence Helpline: 0800 456 450