Reaching out to ask for help is a good thing.
Many of the support groups for tāngata whaikaha and their whānau are provided by people with lived experience--they've already walked the same journey and are willing to find ways to make things easy for you.
It's all right to ask for a little bit of help from time to time.
There are lots of free, confidential and effective support groups out there waiting for you to say hi, to send an email, or ring their number.
To start with, you can go to Facebook or Google and start typing key words like:
disability + group (for example, parents, teens, grandparents) + location (like Auckland).
There are also lots of FREE counselling available in Auckland.
Where to get funding for counselling
- Auckland Therapy Counselling and Psychotherapy website has information on where you can get funding to pay for some counselling sessions.
- Vaka Tautua delivers community programmes and services for Pacific peoples, especially to older people, those living with disability, and people seeking support for their mental health.
- Tōfa Mamao provides assistance and information for disabled Pacific peoples and their families, to relevant and appropriate support services.
- Atu-mai is about equipping young people and their families with the knowledge and tools to live violence-free. Atu-mai offers free eLearning that covers topics such as cultural identity and respectful partner relationships. Visit the website to start learning today.
- ILCT Asian Information and Advisory Services provides information and advice in Mandarin, Cantonese and Korean. They can help you navigate the disability sector and provide a range of information and solutions to connect you to your community and supports that promote independence.
- The Asian Network Incorporated (TANI) is an all Asians community organisation working for the betterment of Asian communities. They run migrant programmes, support groups for Asian parents or social groups for Asian grandparents.
Parents and caregivers
- The Ministry of Education has a link to of groups that provide support for many different concerns a parent may have.
- Toughlove is a non-profit, self-help organisation that provides ongoing education and active support to families, empowering parents and young people to accept responsibility for their actions and stop destructive behaviours. A small membership fee applies.
- There is a support group for parents and caregivers who are caring for children, youth and adults who have or may have Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). There is no cost to attend.
- Improving Life Outcomes is a support group in West Auckland designed for anyone living with a family member with special needs.
- If you want to join a support group on Zoom, Disability Connect organises one every week. Hop on in and bring up any issues, chat, be with others that may be in the same situation as you.
- If you’re a grandparent raising grandchildren, you’re not alone. Grandparents Raising Grandchildren can help you. They support grandparents and whānau kin carers who have children in their full time care. Membership and services are free.
- Sibling support. Living with a brother or sister who has a disability can be challenging. SibSupport NZ support siblings to thrive in their own unique family environment. They have SibShops, SibCamps and Adult Sibling support groups.
- PHAB provides weekly social experiences for people with disabilities aged 16 and over. Members become an important and valued member of their communities, make friends, and most importantly have fun.
- Rare Disorders NZ can help you access individual support groups.
- By Autistics for Autistics Zoom group is a space where autistic people can meet and talk to other autistics. It's a very informal space where everyone is encouraged to be themselves. They meet every Friday online.
Feeling stressed, worried, scared or depressed? We've put together a list of all the free counselling services you can use when you're dealing with tricky emotions and thoughts.
- Pets Assisting Therapy provides regular visits to disability homes, rest homes, day programmes, rehabilitation centres and hospitals in the greater Auckland area with their trained therapy animals.
- Skylight supports people of all ages throughout New Zealand who are facing any kind of tough life situation, but they specialise in grief, loss and trauma.
- Grief Centre offers a variety of services to assist those who are grieving. They include counselling, support groups, brochures, books and articles.
- Aunty Dee is a free online tool for anyone who needs some help working through a problem, you can use Aunty Dee on your mobile phone, tablet or personal computer. Aunty Dee will guide you to list your problems, generate ideas and find a solution.
- The Mental Wealth Project has a website full of useful information and free resources to download. Learn strategies to improve your mental wellbeing or understand the difference between anxiety and depression. Find out ways you can look after your mental health and where to go to find the right care and support when needed, for you and your family.
- Blue Sky Mind has lots of free mindfulness support and resources for difficult times. For this to make an impact on your wellbeing, you will need to keep yourself motivated each day to practice some form of mindfulness meditation.
- Heard & Minds develops and delivers workshops that build mental resilience as determined by the needs within our communities. They also provide health navigation that helps people to more clearly determine what their needs are and subsequently, what best-fit services are available to them. Check out their website for FREE wellbeing support or to be part of a FREE wellbeing and resilience group.