Online Tools To Support Mental Wellbeing
Online Tools To Support Mental Wellbeing
Various digital tools, apps and programmes can help tamariki and rangatahi struggling with their mental wellbeing. These interactive programmes teach them skills to help them if they are feeling down, depressed, anxious or stressed.
How can online programmes help my child?
There are a number of free New-Zealand based digital programmes which can help children and teenagers struggling with their mental wellbeing. The programmes were developed by health professionals and are based on evidence.
The programmes are for children and youth who are going through a hard time - they might be worried or stressed about something, feeling depressed or anxious.
The programmes may help them:
- learn new skills to deal with negative thoughts and feelings
- discover wellbeing exercises they can do to make them feel better
- connect with friends and whānau for support
Call 111 (in New Zealand) if you, your child or someone else is in immediate danger (use the appropriate emergency number in other countries).
Find mental health helplines and support services
SPARX is a self-help e-therapy tool for rangatahi aged between 12 and 19. It teaches young people the key skills to help fight mild to moderate depression, anxiety and stress.
SPARX acts like a video game and users have an avatar they use to complete tasks. The tasks help them deal with negative thoughts and feelings.
Read about SPARX in te Reo Māori (PDF, 192KB).
Watch this video by SPARX to find out more about the tool.
Whitu 7 ways in 7 days
Whitu is an app which teaches self-help skills to young people aged between 16 and 25. The app provides users with a 7 day plan which includes strategies to help them reduce anxiety, improve their wellbeing and help them through the COVID-19 pandemic.
The app is targeted at New Zealanders and uses a holistic approach to wellbeing. It helps with skills such as goal setting, relaxing, being kind to oneself and looking after your body. Whitu 7 ways in 7 days is available for download from the App Store and Google Play.
Read more about Whitu 7 ways in 7 days.
The Manaaki Ora app is based on the Māori model of health Te Whare Tapa Whā. It is designed to help young people who are going through a hard time or who are depressed.
The app offers self-help tips and guidance to help users build wellbeing and resilience. It also has a section on how to support others. The app is available to download from Google Play.
Find out more about the Manaaki Ora app.
Aunty Dee helps people work through their problems. It guides users to think about and explore their problems and find solutions to them, rather than allowing problems to overwhelm them.
The web-based tool is based on structured problem solving - it doesn't provide answers or solutions, but helps users explore their problems in a structured way.
Aunty Dee is for 14-25-year-olds and was created by Le Va, an organisation which supports Pasifika families.
Watch this video from Le Va to find out more about how Aunty Dee works.
Village is an app which supports rangatahi going through a hard time. The app allows them to connect with trusted friends and whānau so they are supported at times when they may be struggling.
The app uses interactive questions to help users deal with challenging emotions and offers personalised tips to help them when they are feeling low. Village is available to download from the App Store and Google Play.
Learn more about the Village app in this video from the Starship Foundation.
The Small Steps website is a place where people can take small steps to improve their wellbeing. The website provides digital tools designed to help people manage stress, calm their mind and lift their mood.
- deep breathing
- muscle relaxation
- mindful watching
- building self-worth
Small Steps was developed by Te Hiringa Hauora in partnership with Clearhead.
Visit the Small Steps website.
Melon anxiety toolbox
Melon's anxiety toolbox is made up of 5 sessions to help you understand and manage anxiety better so it doesn't get in the way. There are also personal stories and illustrations as part of the toolbox.
Visit the Melon anxiety toolbox - first steps to managing stress, worry and anxiety.
Just a thought
Just a thought offers free online therapy courses aimed at people aged 16 years and over. There are courses on depression, anxiety, social anxiety, insomnia and one to help people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
People can use the free tool themselves or with a health professional.
Visit the Just a thought website.
Watch this video about the Just a thought website.
The Mindshift app is aimed at helping people who suffer from anxiety. It guides them to explore their thinking and make positive changes, connects them with other people experiencing similar feelings and helps people overcome their fears.
The tools can help people overcome:
- social anxiety
The Mindshift app is available for download on the App Store and Google Play.
Find out more about Mindshift.
Watch this video from Anxiety Canada about the Mindshift app.
My Anxiety Plan (MAP)
MAP is an anxiety management plan for parents and caregivers to "coach" anxious children or teens using practical strategies and tools to manage anxiety. The programme includes 6 units with 46 lessons and takes about 4 hours to complete. The units are aimed at helping whānau understand anxiety and learn strategies to help their child.
Other useful websites
Le Va's Mental Wealth website is a mental health literacy education programme for young people. It aims to give young people and their whānau knowledge, tools and skills to reduce stigma, improve wellbeing, spot warning signs of mental distress, and enhance access to the right care and support when they need it. Check out the Mental Wealth website.
The Mana Restore section on the Mental Wealth website is aimed at gamers. It includes information on healthy gaming, screen time tips and online bullying, among other topics.
More KidsHealth content on emotional and mental wellbeing
Find out more about depression
Get parenting support for your child's emotions and behaviour
This page last reviewed 05 July 2022.
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