Engage Aotearoa

Online Resources Pack

Online Resources Pack

An Engage Aotearoa info pack | Updated 23May2020
Compiled by Miriam Larsen-Barr
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This is a great big list of websites that offer ways for you to inform yourself about mental health and recovery, explore different perspectives, connect with online support networks, find self-help tools or entertain yourself for a while. The internet can be a powerful tool for learning, distraction, self-soothing and expression, provided it isn’t replacing face-to-face connections. It’s not always easy to get out to the library or to visit a service, but a lot of us have computers where we live or people we could ask to help us use the internet. This pack contains some good places to start informing yourself about things, accessing perspectives on mental health and recovery and entertaining your mind.

  1. Entertainment and interest
  2. Mental Health Information
  3. Online Support Groups and Networks
  4. Recovery Stories
  5. Self-Help Online
  6. Smart Phone Apps
  7. A few notes on mindfulness recordings

Entertainment and interest

Listen to and download New Zealand music.

Buffalo Electronic Poetry Centre
Lots of great poetry texts and interesting articles.

New Zealand Poetry Centre
Information about NZ poets, samples of their poetry to read plus audio recordings and interviews.

Open Culture
800 free online courses from top international universities on almost every subject you can think of.

Project Gutenberg
Project Gutenberg shares 42 000 free e-books and a further 100 000 through their partners and affiliates.

Many different e-books.  This is sort of like an online library.  Some e-books are free and some cost money.

A website full of constantly updated NZ news.

The Spin Off
NZ journalism website.

The Big Idea
A website for and about the creative arts and the creative community in NZ.  Read blogs, find job and volunteer opportunities, connect with other creative people and find out what is happening near you.


Video clips on pretty much anything you can think of, including a range of mental-health and recovery topics.

Mental Health Information

Basic info articles about almost everything.
– Food & Mood:
– Exercise & Mood:
– Anxiety as a barrier to exercise:

Association for Contextual Behavioural Science
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) information and resources.

Conversations for Change
Videos, reading and activities to reduce the stigma associated with mental-health problems among youth. These resources are designed for teachers to share with their students but anyone can watch them.

Conversations that Matter
Resources for discussing suicide that might be useful to share with family so they are better equipped to support you. You might also find it useful to be informed of these kinds of skills.

Crappy Childhood Fairy
Anna Runkle is a woman with lived experience of recovery from complex, childhood trauma who shares the information and strategies she gathers in her journey to help others on their path through.

Discursive of Tunbridge Wells
A blog from the staff and trainees at The Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology in Tunbridge Wells, England, covering a range of issues related to applied psychology, therapies, policy and health service development

Emotionally Healthy Children
Free resources to help parents respond to their children’s emotional needs.

Gender Minorities Aotearoa
A website by and for transgender, takatāpui, and intersex people in NZ. Find info, resources, and links to community supports and healthcare options.

Health and Disability Commission Code of Rights
Online info about your rights when you are using a mental-health or addictions service and how to make complaints.

Healthline’s Your Health Pages
Find information on just about every health condition, mental-health problem, and a nationwide service directory on the Your Health section of the Healthline website from the Ministry of Health.

Hearing Voices Network Aotearoa, NZ
Excellent information about hearing voices and resources for people who experience them.

Helping Reduce Medications by Ron Unger
Written for clinicians, this might also help you inform yourself or your supporter team.

Inner Compass Initiative
Resources, tools, and connecting platforms to facilitate more informed choices regarding all things “mental health” and to support people who wish to leave behind, bypass, or build community beyond the diagnostic/pharmaceutical paradigm.

Le Va
Mental health, addictions, and suicide prevention information for Pasifika communities.

Life Keepers
Life Keepers is an online course for New Zealander’s over 18 who would like to learn more about how to support someone who experiences thoughts of suicide.

Mad in America
The site is designed to serve as a resource and a community for those interested in rethinking psychiatric care in the United States and abroad.

Mental Health Foundation of NZ
Information, resources, links, initiatives for New Zealanders, including the 5 Ways to Wellbeing.

National Depression Initiative
The National Depression Initiative (NDI) shares information about depression and resources for recovery.

New Zealand Drug Foundation

New Zealand Family Violence Centre
Find research about family violence gathered together by the School of Population Health at the University of Auckland.

Out on the Shelves
An online reading resource for young New Zealanders in the rainbow community

(The) Peaceful Parent
Parenting coach and counsellor, Genevieve Simpson shares tips and information about communication, support skills and self-care tips to help parents raise resilient children. Many people report finding these articles helpful with their relationships with themselves and others as well.

Postnatal Distress Centre
Free information for people affected by Postnatal Depression.

Project Borderline
A non-profit organization devoted to raising awareness for Borderline Personality Disorder and helping others gain access to the resources that they need to recover.

Psychology Today
Psychology Today have gathered over 750 renowned leaders in the field of psychology to contribute their thoughts and ideas on what makes people tick.

Rainbow Youth
Info and support for the Rainbow/LGBTQI+ community.

Research Gate
An online network where researchers share and discuss their work.

Reddit is a website where people create and join communities (called ‘subreddits’) to post and discuss stories on almost every subject you can imagine. Check out reddit.com/r/psychology/ and the subreddits about different mental-health problems such as reddit.com/r/BipolarReddit/. Just type your topic of interest in the search field.

RX List
Patient Information Sheets for most medications and a Drug Interaction Tracker.

Suicide Prevention Information New Zealand (SPINZ)
Find information and tips for dealing with suicidal thoughts, talking about suicide and supporting someone you are worried about.

Talking Minds
A website for young people in NZ who experience psychosis made by the NZ Early Psychosis Intervention Society in collaboration with people who have lived experience. Find videos, information, self-help tools, recovery stories, and links to support.

TED: Ideas Worth Spreading
Find heaps of videos sharing engaging and insightful talks about a wide range of topics, including screeds of mental-health related subjects – a great way to access new perspectives and learn new information.

The Tidal Model
Info and resources from another perspective.

The Psychologist Journal Online
Read articles from the journal of the British Psychological Society.

Understanding Voices
Info and tools for exploring or understanding voices, living or coping with voices, and working with voices.

Information, education and support for victims of violence.

Find a Health and Social Service; Health and Wellbeing Resources and a Community Notice Board.

An online, open encyclopaedia, Wikipedia is a place where you can find information on just about anything and share your own knowledge.

Women’s Refuge
Info about domestic violence and how to get help.

Worry Wise Kids
Worry Wise Kids is a website full of info and strategies for young people with anxiety and their parents.

Online Support Groups and Networks

Aotearoa Therapists with Lived Experience Network
ATLEN aims to empower therapists with lived experience and enable them to connect with other like minds for peer support.

Balance NZ
Support, education, information and training for people with experience of depression or bipolar disorder.

Changing Minds on Facebook

Drive Counties Manukau

Engage Aotearoa on Facebook

Gender Minorities Aotearoa on Facebook

Hearing Voices Network Online Peer Support Group

Hearing Voices Network Online Group for Family
Details on how to join are at the very bottom of this page on the Mad in America website.

A UK-based network for mental-health professionals with lived experience of mental-health problems.

An international network of people who hear voices that others do not. Intervoice creates a safe place where you can find out more about hearing voices and an interactive online community where you can share your own point of view or experience.

Mental Health Advocacy and Peer Support
MHAPS are a lived experience group of advocates and peer support workers based in Christchurch.

Mind Share
Mindshare connects people with lived experience of mental health problems with each other so they can share experiences, challenges and triumphs.

NZ Mental Health Consumer / Whaiora Info Sharing
An open Facebook group for people who experience mental-health challenges of all kinds to connect and share information with each other. 

The Aunties
A community of people working to support women who are experiencing domestic violence.

The Icarus Project
A network of people living with and/or affected by experiences that are often diagnosed and labelled as psychiatric conditions, The Icarus Project frames these experiences as “mad gifts needing cultivation and care, rather than diseases or disorders.”

Support for Anxiety, Depression and Mental Illness facebook.com/supportpageforanxietydepressionandmentalillness

Support for Parents of Suicidal Teens NZ
Public page: facebook.com/pages/Support-for-Parents-of-Suicidal-Teens-NZ/750791048270796
Closed group: www.facebook.com/groups/hopeforourteens/

The Way of the Peaceful Parent

The Nutters Club

Transgender and Intersex NZ
A closed facebook group for transgender and intersex people and their supporters and allies.

Recovery Stories

The websites below are focused on sharing recovery stories and tips from people with lived experience. Many of the Information and self-help websites listed above also share recovery stories from people who have been there.

Archives of Resistance
A collection of narratives from the Anti-Anorexia/Bulimia League. Read about the experiences of others and share your own.

Attitude Live
Real video-stories from people living with disabilities of all kinds, including mental-health problems.

Chain of Events NZ
NZ artists with lived experience share their perspectives of recovery through visual art.

Cultivating Wise Mind
One man’s personal perspective on his experience of using the ‘wise mind’ strategies of DBT.

Engage Recovery Notes
People with personal experience of recovery share five things they learned from the journey – read articles by others or write and submit your own.

Healing from BPD
Lived experience blog and self-help tools for recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder.

Lady Gaga’s Lived Experience of Psychosis

Lessons from the mental hospital
Glennon Doyle Melton’s Ted-X talk about her journey to recover from bulimia and addiction

Like Minds, Like Mine
Resources and recovery stories from New Zealand’s national stigma reduction programme.

Live More Awesome

Manu’s Recovery from Post-Natal Depression

National Empowerment Centre
Recovery stories, crisis tips and articles.

Nuggets of Gold
Perspectives from people with lived experience of recovery from suicidal thoughts and urges.

Out of My Mind
An interactive audio-visual podcast series sharing mental-health experiences from Kiwi’s from different walks of life, in their own words.

Recovery Network Toronto
A Canadian website that shares recovery perspectives, resources and stories.

Reasons to Go On Living
Reasons to Go On Living is a website full of stories about surviving suicidal urges and finding reasons to go on living.

Skye Arixe’s Serious Business
Skye is a Trans Woman from England, who writes this blog based on her personal observations, to help other people with their psychological issues and problems.

Steven Hayes on Building Psychological Flexibility
One of the psychologists behind the creation of ACT shares his lived experience of recovery from panic disorder to help describe the process of psychological flexibility.

An excellent recovery blog from someone who has been there and is making it through.

Take it From Us
Live interviews online every Tuesday from 12:30 – 1:30 pm at

The Nutters Club
Listen live every Sunday from 11pm – 1am on Newstalk ZB.

Whirlwind Stories
Recovery stories by men for men.

Self-Help Online

Many of the mental health information pages listed above also share self-help resources.

ACT Mindfully
Free worksheets and audio resources from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).

CALM – Computer Assisted Learning for the Mind
CALM shares online exercises for stress management, coping and relaxation.

CBT for Psychosis & Trauma Handouts
Downloadable CBT handouts from Ron Unger

Centre for Clinical Interventions
CBT-based info and self-help workbooks for each of the major mental-health problems.

Clear Head
A website (and an app) that helps you assess your mental-health using an artificial intelligence chatbot, track your moods, set goals, and find support.

Coming off Psychiatric Drugs: Harm Reduction Guide, 2nd Edition, e-Book by Will Hall
Find self-help information about reducing or discontinuing psychiatric medication safely.

DBT Self-Help
This website is a for people seeking information about DBT and is primarily written by people who have been through DBT themselves.

Online info and strategies for dealing with emotions.

For those of you who are suicidal, read this
Here are some things you can do to help yourself.

Guide to Psychology and its Practice
A plain-language guide to the principles of clinical psychology, written by a clinical psychologist, along with self-help tools for putting selected strategies into practice, including how to use progressive muscle relaxation and an autogenics training programme that teaches you to self-produce feelings of warmth and relaxation.

How to Make the Most of Your Therapy, e-Book
An e-book about how to get the most out of talking therapies.

Inner Compass Withdrawal Project
Resources, tools, and connecting platforms for people who want support to withdraw from psychiatric medications as safely as possible.

Mood Gym
An online resource for managing depression based on CBT and Interpersonal Therapy.

Psych Central
Psych Central is a place where people can ask and answer questions about mental health and relationship issues in a safe and supportive environment.

Psychology Tools
Psychology Tools offers a huge selection of worksheets for therapists to share with their clients. You might find some good ideas to try on your own or some good ideas of the kinds of things you want to try with a therapist.

SPARX CBT Computer Game
SPARX is an online computer game that teaches young people CBT strategies for dealing with stress, distress and mild to moderate depression.

The Coping Kete
Search the growing archive of over 150 coping strategies, practice strategies until they become familiar and then add them to your own kete for times of stress and distress.

The Happiness Trap
Worksheets, resources, and an online course from Russ Harris’s ACT-based, self-help book The Happiness Trap.

The Journal Website and App
An online depression recovery tool: Get information, set goals, receive reminders, ask for help from the support team and keep track of your progress.

The Low Down
Information about depression for young people, self-help resources, videos and a chat page.

The Pinky Perspective – DBT Handouts and Activities
The Pinky Perspective has a whole page of links to DBT information and worksheets.

The Thriving Adolescent
ACT resources for children and teens based on the youth model of ACT called DNA-V.

Whakatau Mai: The Wellbeing Sessions
These free, online community events are aimed at supporting wellbeing in real-time, with real people, and invite you to connect with others, learn new skills, and look at things differently.

You Feel Like S**t Self-Care Game
This is an interactive online flow-chart that takes you through a series of steps to help you use self-care at times of distress. The title is light-hearted but the steps give some solid things to think about and do right in the moment.

Smart Phone Apps

ACT Companion
This app shares exercises for practicing the ACT strategies of being present, opening up, and engaging with what matters to you, with daily practice reminders. A free app with extra content to unlock if you pay to subscribe.

DBT Dime Game
This app guides you through a DBT strategy called the Dime Game which helps people decide how strongly to say no or ask for something.

Hear Me: Empathy Not Therapy
This free app lets you connect with a trained ‘listener’ through text chat if you need an ear. Reviews say it can take a few minutes to be matched to a listener that you might need to be patient.

My Life Mindfulness: Stop Breathe Think
This app lets you learn mindfulness skills with a handy check-in tool, information to read and guided exercises for different situations. The free option has heaps of options and you can also subscribe to unlock more content.

Smiling Mind
A free app for learning and practicing mindfulness with video and audio exercises for all ages and whole courses for different purposes like sleep or managing stress.

Think Ladder
A free CBT app for identifying unhelpful beliefs, reflecting on alternative insights prepared by a group of therapists, and collecting the ones you find useful for later.

Worry Tree
A free app for coping with anxiety and worry created by people with lived experience of coping with anxiety problems. It’s a simple text-based app that lets you name your worries individually, create action plans to address the things you can change, schedule reminders, and create a list of distractions to help cope with the things you can’t control. You could also use the app to record prompts for other coping strategies like self-soothing or seeking support.

A few notes on mindfulness recordings

Mindfulness is often described as a way of relaxing or experiencing calm, but it is important to know that mindfulness can also involve contacting our internal experiences of distress, becoming aware of and caught up in unwanted thoughts, and connecting with our bodies and physical sensations in a way that can be triggering for some of us.

The exercises shared in apps and online are often not adjusted for people who experience trauma or psychosis, or those who have high sensitivity to changes in their breathing and may experience panic sensations when directed to focus on their breathing.

You may find it helpful to keep your eyes open during mindfulness practice, to consider all instructions as invitations not directives, to move your attention away from the sensory area an exercise is focused on, and to choose shorter exercises or movement based exercises like mindful walking.

If you notice that being aware of your breath leads to a sensation of being unable to breathe, it can help to stretch your mouth open and yawn, or move your attention to another part of your body or surroundings for a moment so your mind can take over get back on autopilot again. This is just your body being unused to a different pattern of breathing and this sensation will disappear as you get used to it. Know that it is normal to experience difficulties during mindfulness practice. This is why it takes practice.