Who to contact

The fact is, things don’t fix themselves, but taking active steps to make your situation better is probably the most important thing you can do. The journey may be long or it may be short, but it has to start somewhere - the good news is that if you are here, then your journey has started.

This section outlines some of the immediate things you can do if you are worried about how you feel, behave or with aspects of everyday life.

Who to contact

If it’s a crisis or emergency

If you are in a serious crisis or you need urgent help, do the following:

If you are having thoughts about taking your life, it’s very important to tell someone you trust so that you can get the help you need to feel better.

If you can’t immediately find someone you know to talk to, there are always people who are contactable by phone and who are willing, able and available 24 hours a day / 7 days a week to help you.

If you concerned about someone else, do the above plus:

  • Stay with them until support arrives. Remove any obvious means of suicide they might use (e.g. rope, pills, guns, car keys, knives). Try to stay calm and let them know you care.
  • Keep them talking: listen and ask questions without judging.
  • Make sure you are safe.

Who to phone for help

NZDF4U Helpline and Wellbeing Counselling Support

For Regular Force, Reserve Force, Civilians, Veterans and Families

All members of NZDF and the Defence community can contact 0800 NZDF4U (0800 693 348) for 24/7 confidential support spanning both telephone and face-to-face support. This includes Regular Force, Civilians, Reserve Force, families and veterans
 
A health professional (outside of the NZDF) will assess what the nature of the issue is and discuss support options about any issue someone may want help with. This can include anything from general stress/depression/anxiety, relationship troubles, financial worries, post-deployment problems, to transitioning out of NZDF. The health professional will help direct towards the best support for you. If it is an emergency dial 111.
Callers can access phone support and face-to-face counselling via 0800 NZDF4U, and now can also:
  • Contact NZDF4U via text: 8881
  • Access NZDF4U from overseas: +64 9 414 9914 
Counselling support services (up to six sessions) are also accessible through this service. This is available to Regular Force and Civilians for any issue, and is also available for Reserves and Families of NZDF members for Defence-related issues. Where this service isn’t the best fit to support their needs, NZDF4U may refer on to community support and health services, and/or Veterans’ Affairs.  Regular Force will be encouraged to use the internal NZDF health services and support systems as their first port of call for support. However, if someone does not feel comfortable using the internal NZDF health services, this service is in place to ensure they get the support they need.
 
Service user type 0800 NZDF4U EAP/Counselling
Regular Force Yes Yes
Reserve force
(under regular force employment)
Yes Yes
Reserve force
(not under regular force employment)
Yes
 
Yes
(if the issue is NZDF-related)
Civilian staff Yes Yes
veterans and ex -serving Yes No
Family/whanau of NZDF personnel Yes
 
Yes
(if the issue is NZDF-related)

 

Who can contact 0800 NZDF4U?

All members of NZDF and the Defence community can call for 24/7 confidential support. This includes civilians, military, veterans, reserves and family members. 

Who answers the phone when I call 0800 NZDF4U?

A health professional (outside of the NZDF) answers your call. They will assess what’s going on for you and discuss support options.

What support can I get?

You can access face-to-face, Zoom (similar to Skype), or over the phone counselling when you call through the 0800 number.

Can I contact 0800 NZDF4U from overseas?

Yes, you can call +64 9 414 9914 and if you prefer to be called back due to international calling fees, this can be arranged. In cases where the caller is on deployment NZDF4U will notify the Medical Officer J1 Health Branch.

What issues can I call about?

You can call about any issue you want help with. This can include anything from general stress/depression/anxiety, relationship troubles, financial worries, post-deployment problems, to transitioning out of NZDF. The  health practitioner will help direct you towards the best support for you. If you have an emergency dial 111. 

Who can access EAP counselling?

Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) counselling support services (up to six sessions) are accessible to regular force and civilians for any issue. EAP services (up to six sessions) are also available for Reserves and Families of NZDF members for defence related issues. The nature of this support will be based on need and may include referral to EAP, community support and health services, and/or Veterans Affairs. Family members accessing EAP will be asked to confirm their connection to NZDF; this will be recorded but not shared with the NZDF member or broader NZDF without permission.

Can a person in uniform access face-to-face counselling?

Yes! When a service person calls the 0800 number they can be referred to EAP for counselling. This is confidential. You may be encouraged to contact a NZDF health provider so that appropriate internal support can be arranged but you can access support through EAP if you are not comfortable with this.

Will my manager find out?

No. You are not required to identify yourself unless you choose to. The counselor will ask for your first name / how you would like to be addressed. 

Is it confidential for uniformed people too?

Yes! No information is given to the caller’s manager (or anyone within the NZDF). The counsellor will know your name if you choose to provide it. Either way, no personal details are sent to NZDF. You will only be asked to provide some basic demographic information for reporting purposes (e.g. civilian/ military/ veteran/ reserve/ family member). You may be asked if you are comfortable with relevant health information being shared  with NZDF so it can be  stored on your NZDF health record or additional support arranged through NZDF, but this is voluntary.

How many counselling sessions are available to me?

Eligible pers (see above) may access up to 6 sessions. 

What can I do if I don’t make a connection with my counsellor or I don’t feel like they are the right person for me to talk to?

You are welcome to request a different counsellor. Click here to see a full list of Vitae counsellors available to you.

Can a family member call 0800 NZDF4U (without the NZDF employee present)?

Yes! They just need to give the NZDF person’s name. This information is only kept on the caller’s confidential file and is not shared with NZDF or any other person. 

Are there any circumstances in which my information might be shared?

If you (or another person) is at an immediate risk of harm, the counsellor is required by law to report this to necessary parties. For example, if you report to your counsellor that you intend to hurt yourself or somebody else, the counsellor may contact emergency services and the NZDF.

 

For Veterans
Veterans’ Affairs  

Call:     0800 4VETERANS (0800 483 8372)

A confidential support service for eligible members of the serving and ex-serving community.

What Support is Available through NZDF? 

Read about options for NZDF support here [PDF, 309 KB].

Additionally, here are some people to call for specific issues or situations:

Depression Helpline

Call:     0800 111 757

When:  24 hours a day/7 days a week

Talk to a trained counsellor at the Depression Helpline about how you are feeling or to ask a question.

Lifeline

Call:     0800 543 354

When:  24 hours a day/7 days a week

Lifeline is a confidential counselling service for those in mental distress.

Samaritans

Call:      0800 726 666

When:   24 hours a day/7 days a week

Samaritans offer confidential non-religious and non-judgemental support to anyone who may be feeling depressed lonely or even be contemplating suicide. 

Alcohol and Drug helpline

Call:     0800 787 797

Text:    8681

When:  24 hours a day/7 days a week

This is a helpline specifically for problems with alcohol and drugs, you can speak with a trained counsellor.

Women’s Refuge

Call:     0800 REFUGE (0800 733 843)

When:  24 hours a day/7 days a week

0800 REFUGE is a crisis line for women dealing with violence in their life.

Shine

Call:     0508 744 633

When:  9am-11pm/7 days a week

Shine is a domestic abuse helpline. Shine’s vision is ‘safer homes in New Zealand every day.’

Family Violence Helpline

Call:     0800 456 450

When:  9am-11pm/7 days a week

The Family Violence Information Line provides confidential self-help information and connects people to services where appropriate

Mensline

Call:     0800 636 754

When: Monday to Friday 6:30pm to 10:30pm 

Mensline is a helpline specifically for men and the issues they face.

Youthline

Call:     0800 376 663

Text:    234

When:  24 hours a day/7 days a week

Youthline is a helpline for young people, offering counselling, support and youth development services.

Healthline

Call:     0800 611 116

When:  24 hours a day/7 days a week

Healthline offers free health advice from trained registered nurses.

OUTLine NZ

Call:     0800 688 5463 (0800 OUTLINE)

When:  10am-9pm weekdays, 6pm-9pm weekends

Confidential, free, LGBTIQ+ affirming support line and face-to-face counselling

What's Up

Call:     0800 942 8787

When:  7 days a week 12pm-11pm or online 3pm-10pm

Advice line for 5-18 year olds