Alcohol

 

A lot of people don’t think alcohol is a drug – but it’s the most widely used and easily accessible drug in New Zealand. 

Download the comic strip factsheet to learn more about how alcohol, cannabis and methamphetamine can affect you or someone you know.

 

What is the connection between alcohol and mental health? 

Alcohol is a depressant, which means it slows down your brain. It can change your mood, energy levels, sleep, memory, and many other things.

People who are experiencing a mental health problem may use alcohol to try and manage hard times or lift their mood. This might feel helpful in the short term but may make things much harder to handle in the long run.

It is also linked with risky behaviour, aggression and self-harm or suicide.

Long term alcohol use can also lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, brain damage, liver disease and cancer.

Pregnancy 

If you think there's a chance you might be pregnant, it's best to stop drinking because alcohol can harm your baby. Check out the series of videos to help explain - Don't know? Don't drink.

 

The effects of cannabis

Like alcohol, cannabis is a depressant. Using it can lead to impaired concentration and motivation, as well as paranoia and anxious thoughts.

Methamphetamine and the brain

Meth changes the way the brain feels pleasure, causing people to take more of the drug to feel the same high as the first time they used it. This leads to more damage to the brain and body which can be permanent.

 

If you are worried about your own or someone else's alcohol or drug use, there are people you can call for help:

  • Alcohol and drug helpline 0800 787 797 or free text 8681 for confidential advice
  • Alcohol and drug Pasifika line 0800 787 799
  • Alcohol and drug Māori line 0800 787 798
  • Freephone or text 1737, New Zealand's free support service with qualified and confidential counsellors. 

 

 

Check In

Learning about mental health issues means you can check yourself and check in on your mates too. Click and drag side to side to scroll through the topics to learn more.

What is Mental Health?

Mental health is a state of mind.  Everyone has mental health, just as we all have physical health. Having positive mental health means we have strong relationships, and cope with everyday stress in life to reach our full potential. 

 

Myth-Busters for Mental Health Problems

Some people misunderstand what mental health problems really are. When this happens we can judge people the wrong way, exclude them and end up being disrespectful. We can change this by busting those myths together!

How to check in

Have you got a mate who's just not themselves lately? Maybe a family member who seems angry or withdrawn? Do you want to say something but are not sure how?  

Depression

It's normal to feel sad, stressed, angry or miserable, especially if we’ve gone through stressful times.  

Depression is more than this. 
 

Anxiety

We all know what it's like to feel worried. Unfortunately for some people, worrying, feeling on edge and panic can be much more intense and overwhelming.
 

Alcohol

A lot of people don’t think alcohol is a drug.  It's actually the most widely used and easily accessible drug in New Zealand. It can have a major impact on your mental health. There's lots of help available to learn how to ease up on the drink.

Being Bullied?

No-one deserves to be bullied. Bullying is a serious problem that can disrupt your life and lead to physical and emotional health problems. You don't have to go through this alone. Help is available.
 

Online Bullying

Online bullying, or cyber bullying, is when a person uses digital technology to send, post or publish content to hurt someone. There's lots of tips on how to deal with this.

What is healthy gaming?

Gaming is a normal and healthy part of our lives and it can have a positive impact on our mental health and wellbeing. For a small number of young people, gaming can have a more negative impact on everyday life.

Grief

Grief is our natural response to loss - for example, we experience grief when someone close to us dies. We all experience grief differently. Some people start to feel better in weeks or months, for others, it's years.

Feel Good

There's only one of you and we want you to live well and feel good so you can be your best self. Check out tips and tools on how to feel good.

Mind

Body

Soul

Mindfulness

Looking for ideas of how to reduce our stress and anxiety? Practising mindfulness activities can help us chill out and clear our minds, so we can deal with things better.

Grow Gratitude

Did you know that feeling grateful for what we have can improve our mental wealth? Appreciating people and things makes us happy! But it takes a lot of practice so give it a try.

Digital Detox

Recharge and refresh yourself! Perhaps it's time to step away, have a break from those digital devices that take up all of our time and focus.  Sometimes we can lose track of reality and our relationships with the real world.  A digital detox might just help us recharge, regain sight of what’s important and take better care of ourselves.  

Sleep Well

A good sleep at night helps you manage better during the day. Learn to overcome those annoying things that keep you awake and how to get a good pattern of sleep.

Eat Well

If we want to feel good, we need to make the right choices about what we eat and drink.  What we eat and drink not only affects our appearance, but also our energy levels, and the way we think about feel about ourselves. 

Get Moving

A strong body supports a strong mind and can help us cope with things like stress, anger and anxiety. There's lots of fun ways to get moving, on your own or with mates. Every little bit counts!

Relax. Breathe.

Your mental wealth relies on you taking the time to look after both your body and mind.  Sometimes life gets so busy, and you forget to take time out to relax, rest and recharge.  Breathing is another way to take your relaxation in life to the next level.  

Spirituality

Spirituality generates positive emotions in people. Whether it's about having a greater purpose in life, a religion, or living out your personal values, spirituality can make us feel good. 

Cultural Identity

Culture gives us a sense of belonging, pride and identity.  It’s something to celebrate and cherish.  Find out how we can discover and nurture our cultural identities.  

Stay Connected

It's a fact that people who are connected are more likely to be happy. Find out how to stay connected so you look after your mental wealth.

Get help now

If you or someone you know is in immediate physical danger, call 111 now. If you're experiencing mental health problems or need support, help is a phone call away.

How to connect

Staying connected to friends, whānau, school, work, nature and the world around you is critical to your wellbeing.

Understanding gaming: Tips for friends and whānau

Are you worried about a family member's gaming habits and internet use? Learn how to engage in conversation with them.

Screen Time Tips

We really value screen time because it can be fun and relaxing. But too much screen time can get in the way of other activities that are good for us, like socialising, sleep and exercise. 

Finding a balance between time online and other activities is important for your physical and mental health.
 

Intergenerational communication

Connecting with parents, grandparents, aunties or uncles can help us feel a sense of belonging.

Aunty Dee

For when life sux, Aunty Dee can help you solve your problems.

Sparx e-therapy

e-therapy for young people who are feeling down, worried or stressed.

For Pasifika

Atu-Mai: culturally-based tools to support Pacific young people to unleash their full potential.

Netsafe

Online safety for New Zealand.

Youthline

Here to help and here for you. Text Youthline on 234.

The Lowdown

Straighup answers for when life sux.

 

Common Ground

Advice and information on how to be part of a support network for a distressed young person.

The Journal

Teaching you the skills to help yourself.