Life gets tough for all of us at times. Counselling is a useful resource for children and parents/caregivers to express their feelings in confidence and receive support and advice from someone who is trained to listen.

Free or low-cost counselling services are available in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Here are some useful links to counselling resources.

Online counselling resources 

For newly single parents, or for those who have been parenting by themselves for a while, it can be hard to cope with raising children.

These organisations have some advice on how to face the challenges of being part of a family: 

  • Request a support pack online from Skylight, a national trust dedicated to providing resources to aid with building resilience
  • Help yourself get through with support from the Mental Health Foundation for resources to aid the wellbeing of parents and whānau

Phone support helplines  

If you’ve been feeling sad, angry, stressed, or anxious for a long time, counselling can be a helpful tool to improve your mental health and wellbeing.

These national helplines offer confidential phone counselling to provide free support, advice, and information:


  • Free call or text 1737 at any time for support from a trained counsellor
  • Lifeline – 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or text 4357 (HELP), free help and counselling support available 24/7
  • Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO), free 24/7 helpline for support from counsellors with advanced suicide prevention training
  • Healthline – 0800 611 116, for free health advice and information 24/7
  • Samaritans – 0800 72 66 66, free 24/7 crisis helpline for confidential and non-judgemental support

Helplines for children

  • Barnardos – 0800 942 8787 (0800 WHATS UP) or web chat for free, a space for kids to talk about anything at all
  • Youthline – 0800 376 633 or text 234 for free 24/7, web chat also available for young people to get support for themselves and to help others
  • Kidsline – 0800 54 37 54 (0800 KIDSLINE) for free 24/7, for kids to talk to someone when things feel tough

Helplines for parents

  • PlunketLine – 0800 933 922 for free parenting help and advice available 24/7 to all families, whānau and caregivers
  • Parent Help – 0800 568 856 for free support and advice to help you and your family, available from 9am – 9pm 7 days a week