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Health and wellbeing

At times like these it’s more important than ever to look after your health.

Cyclone Assistance Helpline

If you need to access welfare services in the wake of Cyclone Gabrielle you can call 0800 117 672 for free. The line is available from 8am – 8pm on weekdays and 8am to 4.15pm at weekends.

HB Civil Defence Emergency Management Group advises it is specifically for welfare needs such as health and wellbeing including mental health, accommodation needs, ongoing food, household goods and services support, animal welfare and rural support.

The call centre is supported by a range of organisations to ensure that it is accessible to people from every diverse group, including translation and Te Ao Maori services.

Please note that people who are already having their needs assessed and met through a local marae, welfare centre, or other service, should continue to go there. This 0800 helpline is an additional service, not a replacement of existing ones.

The helpline is also not for accessing financial support – in those cases, please contact the Ministry for Social Development.


At times like these it’s more important than ever to look after your health.

Go back to basics: wash your hands well especially when handling waste, rubbish or flood debris, stay out of flood water, stay hydrated, try and get some sleep and downtime, talk with friends and keep connected to help with mental wellbeing, stay in contact with your neighbours and loved ones.

Avoid contact with water in drains, streams and Te Whanganui a Ōrotu (Ahuriri Estuary), and keep your four-legged friends healthy too by keeping them out of waterways. Don’t gather kai moana and stay out of the water and away from the beach. Mana whenua have a rāhui in place until further notice.

Silt mud and dust can carry toxins so it’s important to stay away from them as much as possible. If you do need to come into contact with them, dress for success! Wear long sleeves and long pants - a coverall is even better – wear a mask, eye protection and gumboots. When you have finished, wash up well.


The impacts of Cyclone Gabrielle are affecting people in different ways, and at different times. Please know that it’s OK not to be OK, and help is available.

Here are some tips to help maintain your emotional wellbeing:

ConnectConnecting with others is important for our wellbeing and helps to make us feel safer, and less stressed and anxious.

Notice thingsTake time to feel the sun on your skin, breathe in fresh air, make a list of what you’re grateful for, or take the time to thank someone for how they make you feel.

Find ways to be activeWhatever works for you – if it’s exercise, it’s good.

Find ways to give Give compliments, let people know you’re there to help and tell them what help you can offer.

Keep to a routineRoutines are good for our mental health. Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time and eat healthily and at regular times.

Napier Family Centre 

Napier Family Centre supports people across Hawke’s Bay with counselling, budgeting advice and family services. Their team of professionals work with children, parents, families and individuals, providing wraparound support to help get them on the right track. Services are available face-to-face, online or over the phone – contact them to make an appointment or find out more.

Phone 06 843 7280

For more information visit the Napier Family Centre website here.


Where you can seek help:

  • Log on to to find a service close to you or you can call or text Need to Talk 1737 any time to talk with a trained counsellor.
  • At most general practices you can phone and book in to see a Health Improvement Practitioner (HIP), a registered mental health professional who provides advice and support promoting self-management, and connects people to other services they may need. Every day, HIPs have appointments that are not pre-booked so you can phone a general practice where you are enrolled and book in on that day.
  • Need to Talk? Free call or text 1737 any time to speak to a trained counsellor, for any reason.
  • Lifeline: 0800 543 354 or text HELP to 4357
  • Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 / 0508 TAUTOKO (24/7). This is a service for people who may be thinking about suicide, or those who are concerned about family or friends.
  • The Depression Helpline – Call 0800 111 757 or text 4202 to talk to a trained counsellor about how you are feeling or to ask any questions.
  • Samaritans: 0800 726 666 (24/7)
  • The Lowdown: Text 5626 for support to help young people recognise and understand depression or anxiety.
  • Youthline: Call 0800 376 633, text 234, email, or go to for an online chat.
  • What's Up: free counselling for 5 to 19 years old, online chat 11am-10.30pm 7days/week or free phone 0800 WHATSUP / 0800 9428 787 11am-11pm
  • Asian Family Services: 0800 862 342 Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm or text 832 Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm. Languages spoken: Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, Japanese, Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi and English.
  • Rural Support Trust Helpline: 0800 787 254
  • Healthline: Call 0800 611 116 for health advice and information.
  • Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
  • Alcohol Drug Helpline – Call 0800 787 797 to speak with a trained counsellor.
  • OUTLine: 0800 688 5463 (6pm-9pm)
  • Tips and support, go to

Free wellbeing apps

  • You can download the Groov and Headstrong wellbeing apps free for android and Apple phones. Just go to Google Play or the Apple app store.

Rural Support Trusts

A local Rural Support Trust (RST) is a great place to access free and confidential support and advice. This nationwide network, run by local people, helps farming families and rural communities.

RSTs have facilitators trained to recognise issues with mental health and wellbeing. They can also put you in touch with services including health information or financial support.

You can give them a call to talk through your options. Call 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP) to arrange a free and confidential chat at a place that suits you, or visit


Farmstrong is a nationwide wellbeing programme for the rural community. Their aim is to help you live well to farm well. On their website you can find a range of resources to help you manage your wellbeing. Visit



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