Free tools to help you take control of your depression or anxiety

Sometimes we all need a little help


  • Community
June 30, 2020 Susanne Axelsson

As a consequence of COVID and six weeks of lockdown, many young people are feeling anxious. Your plans for the year have been destroyed, you may have lost your job, and you're even more worried about the future now and what it might hold. This is the perfect storm to kick-off or increase an anxious or depressed state of mind. The New Zealand Asian Mental Health and Well-being report out recently, commissioned by charity Asian Family Services to measure the impact of the lockdown on mental well-being amongst the Asian community, found high levels of anxiety and nervousness. We encourage everyone to step back and take a physical and mental stock take. Take note if you have experienced any of the following*:

  • Feeling nervous, restless or tense
  • Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom
  • Having an increased heart rate
  • Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Feeling weak or tired

*If anything you are experiencing is impacting your ability to enjoy and participate fully in your life, please see your GP straight away.

Below we have listed a few free tools you can use to help you with your anxiety: 

SPARX: is an award-winning computerised, interactive fantasy game based on cognitive behavioural training that the University of Auckland developed. SPARX teaches young people the skills they need to help combat depression and anxiety. It is supported by trial evidence for use with many ethnic groups, has been adapted for use by Rainbow young people, and is effective in reducing depressive symptoms and emotional distress.

Common Ground: features a series of videos exploring the challenges faced by young people in a fictional community. The series explores themes that are relevant to the mental health and wellbeing of young people, and are reflective of real-life scenarios. Common Ground is a central hub providing parents, family, whānau and friends with easy access to information, tools and support to help a young person who is struggling.

29k: The world's first personal growth programme combining the best science-based tools with a deep human connection. This app is free to use and you can pick between different programmes based on what you would like to improve with your health and wellbeing. 

Think Ladder: is a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and meditation hybrid app. The app allows users to evaluate and challenge unhelpful beliefs associated with stress, anxiety, relational conflict and depression, and receive empowering insights to help form healthier cognitive pathways.

How We Got Happy: Knowing you're not alone in your experience of mental health struggles can go a long way to making you feel better. Take a listen to this podcast series presenting stories of health, hope and happiness from twenty young New Zealanders who beat depression.


If you are worried about your or someone else's mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider. However, if you or someone else is in danger or endangering others, call police immediately on 111.


  • 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP) (available 24/7). Other services listed here
  • YOUTHLINE: 0800 376 633
  • NEED TO TALK? Free call or text 1737 (available 24/7)
  • KIDSLINE: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
  • WHATSUP: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
  • DEPRESSION HELPLINE: 0800 111 757 or TEXT 4202

There are lots of places to get support. For others, click here.​

Share :

Other Stories you might be interested in