Media Advisory: Looking after mental health and wellbeing during Covid-19

19 Mar, 2020


The Mental Health Foundation is aware that the Covid-19 outbreak is causing significant anxiety and stress for many New Zealanders.

To support the mental health of New Zealanders at this time, we have developed a new online resource Looking after mental health and wellbeing during Covid-19.

The new section on our website includes tips to look after your wellbeing and answers some of the questions we’ve been getting as well (including advice from the MOH’s Māori Directorate about tikanga).

The MHF will be updating the website in the coming days, weeks and months with resources, activities, tools and information as they become available.

The number one message we want New Zealanders to hear is this: we will get through this if we work together. Connecting with people who make you feel safe and loved is the most important thing you can do to look after your mental health and the mental health of people around you. “Self-isolation” or staying at home means connecting will happen in different ways – we already have tips about how to do this and will be developing more in the days ahead.  

We also know that things are really tough right now for some people who live with mental illness. Stress, anxiety and uncertainty don’t help. The wellbeing tips on our website are designed to help support people who are currently struggling with their mental health with small, practical actions everyone can do.

A reminder: anyone in New Zealand can free call or text 1737 at any time to speak with a trained counsellor – it’s free and confidential.

The MHF is also active on FacebookInstagram and Twitter, where we’ll be sharing ways to support wellbeing and asking you to share the things that are helping you get through. We hope you’ll join us.

Media are going to be a critical part of the response to Covid-19 – sharing health information, wellbeing tips, stories and inspiration to get us through. We encourage you to make sure you’re also looking after your own wellbeing while covering this story and as the outbreak continues.

We also ask media to be mindful of those in their audience who are vulnerable, under strain or already experiencing hardship. Think about the humans driving the clicks from story to story and work to ensure you’re providing them with the information they need to look after their mental wellbeing. We are getting increasing reports of people becoming distressed by media coverage of the pandemic. While we encourage members of the public to be mindful of their media consumption and limit their news-intake if they are feeling distressed we would like to ask media to keep these people in mind.

He waka eke noa – we’re all in this together.


For further information or comment, please contact:

Mark Wilson
Senior Public Relations & Media Engagement Officer
021 998 949