Experiencing a disaster can be overwhelming. It’s normal for you and your whānau to feel upset and physically drained during and after an emergency event.

Where to get help

Your mental and emotional wellbeing is important. It’s normal to feel stressed or anxious during or after an emergency. But there are things you can do to feel better.

You can text or phone 1737 to speak to a trained counsellor. They can help if you:

  • need support or advice
  • have feelings of anxiety, stress, prolonged fear, hopelessness or anger, or
  • you just need to talk with someone.

If you feel you're not coping, talk to a health professional. Seek medical help from your doctor or a mental health provider familiar with the effects of disasters.  

Some people may never have a reaction. Others may have delayed reactions that show up days, weeks or even months after the disaster happens. Not everyone has reactions right away. Your symptoms may go and then come back again when something makes you think of the disaster.

After a disaster, be sure to talk to someone about how you are feeling. There may be a specialist post-disaster crisis counsellor appointed in your area.

Ministry of Health logo

Find advice on understanding emotional reactions to emergencies and positive ways of coping on the Ministry of Health website.

Free tools and resources

All Right? logo

Find tips for looking after yourself and others when times are tough from All Right?

All Right? is a collaboration between Canterbury DHB and the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand. It was launched in 2013 to support the psychosocial recovery of Cantabrians following the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011.

Mentemia logo

Find practical tips and techniques to help you take control of your mental wellbeing with Mentemia.

Mentemia was created by former All Black and mental health advocate Sir John Kirwan, tech entrepreneur Adam Clark and an expert team of medical advisors.

Melon Health logo

Find a health journal, resources and self-awareness tools to help you manage your emotional wellbeing with Melon.

Melon also provides an online community for New Zealanders to support each other and daily webinars for health and wellbeing.

Just a Thought logo

Find online courses to teach you practical strategies to cope with stress with Just a Thought.

Te Hiringa Hauora logo

Find information and advice on how to look after yourself and your whānau on the depression.org.nz website.

When we are anxious or depressed it can change the way we think, feel and act. Dealing with the tough times can be hard but you’re not alone.