18 Dec 2015

Help at hand for depression sufferers during holidays

9:15 am on 18 December 2015

While many mental health services are preparing to wrap up for the Christmas break, the Depression Helpline is reminding people its services will remain open over the coming weeks.

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Photo: 123RF

Depression Helpline spokesperson Sir John Kirwan said the festive season can be extremely emotional and for people who might be going through a tough time, it can exacerbate their feelings.

Sir John said it was important people knew that the helplines were manned and people could reach out and get help.

"There's all different reasons for people being up and down during this festive time, so you know, if you are down it's important to realise - it's there for you."

Depression Helpline figures showed one in six New Zealanders will experience serious depression at some time in their lives.

"It's an illness not a weakness and no other illness goes away because it's Christmas, you know. So if people are unwell, sometimes these emotional times can accentuate the illness. It's important to get those people and get that support around you and you don't need to do it alone," he said.

Where to find help:

Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)

If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.

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