Free earthquake support line for everyone

16 November 2016

In response to the recent earthquakes and aftershocks, the Ministry of Health has bolstered its 24/7 Earthquake Support Line 0800 777 846 being run by the National Telehealth Service.

The support line, which offers social and psychological support, is open to anyone anxious or concerned about how the situation is affecting them or their whanau. They can call for emotional support, advice or just for someone to talk to.

There is also a special webpage Earthquake Support Line with information and resources to help people get through.

Who is answering the calls?

The National Telehealth Service provider Homecare Medical is running the support line. It is staffed with qualified mental health experts who have direct access to Healthline nurses and other 24/7 national telehealth staff. Dr David Codyre is the clinical lead for mental health services at Homecare Medical.

How many people are using the line?

As at 6.45am today the Earthquake Support Line, Healthline and the National Telehealth Service mental health lines had answered 4,154 calls since the quake. At its peak, there were around 150% more calls.

What type of questions have people of Aotearoa New Zealand asked to date?

Many of the calls to Healthline were for sleep problems, anxiety, slips, trips and falls and also for reassurance and for practical information. Callers to the mental health lines have primarily been from the wider Canterbury region and Wellington. The service has rostered on additional staff and have people on call.