Are you supporting a student who is struggling after recent events?

Taking care of yourself

Leading Lightsopen_in_new
All Right?open_in_new

Provides tips for coping with a disaster.

Ministry of Education: Supporting you to respond, recover, and restoreopen_in_new

Includes tips for parents and educators, and links to PDF advice sheets for getting a good night's sleep after the events in Christchurch, and a management guide for supporting staff.

Helping students

Encourage your students to call or text 1737 any time, day or night, to speak to a trained counsellor for free.

Leading Lightsopen_in_new

Provides information on topics such as emotional and social wellbeing, grief and loss, and anxiety.


Offers advice and support for teenagers and young people. Includes a free helpline (0800 376 633) or text (234), plus an online web chat feature.

Sparklers from the All Right? initiativeopen_in_new

Resources specifically for teachers and schools to help them support and promote the wellbeing of young Cantabrians.

Understanding loss and griefopen_in_new

Valuable resource for teachers who have a student dealing with grief and loss. Includes definition of common "losses" for children, and how you can support them. From Ministry of Education/TKI.

Response, recovery, & wellbeing after the tragic event in Christchurchopen_in_new

MOE psychologists discuss the events in Christchurch, focusing on ongoing recovery, teaching moments, and bringing it back to values. Published in the Education Gazette (vol 98, num 6).

Canterbury Charity Hospitalopen_in_new

Offers a free counselling service with professionally trained counsellors and psychologists.

Student wellbeing

The Helping a Child or Young Person page provides resources for helping children and teenagers with mental health and wellbeing. The resources below may also be particularly useful to teachers.

Mental Wealth Projectopen_in_new

The Mental Wealth Project supports young people to learn how to look after their own mental health, and their friends and family. With face-to-face workshops and a complementary website, young people are supported in creating and accumulating "mental wealth". Includes info and support for anxiety, depression, grief, bullying, coping, and more.

Aunty Deeopen_in_new

An online wellbeing tool that helps young people cope with stressful life experiences by guiding them through problem-solving.

Guidelines for supporting young people with stress, anxiety, and/or depression [PDF]open_in_new

A resource developed as part of the Prime Minister's Youth Mental Health Project. It aims to support friends, family/whānau, and others who may be helping a young person with mild-to-moderate mental health issues access advice and support.

Five ways to improve student wellbeingopen_in_new

Ideas for planning activities throughout the year to improve student wellbeing, as suggested by the Mental Health Foundation and Ministry of Education.

Student Wellbeing Hub: Primary classroom resourcesopen_in_new

An Australian site that "provides information and resources for students, teachers, and parents to assist them to create and maintain a safe and welcoming school environment". Wellbeing topics include healthy minds and bodies, and respecting diversity.

Cultural sensitivity

Advice from the Ministry of Education:

The cultural awareness messages below can help schools feel confident in their ability to connect with and reach out in a culturally appropriate way to their school community.

Cultural awareness messages
  • In difficult times, people join together and express their love and care for each other, as people.
  • Consider and emphasise shared values and connections.
  • We are all individual in some way but grief is grief. We all experience grief at some time, but how we express this can be different and there is no "right way" to grieve.
  • Connect by extending your condolences as appropriate – don't wait for people to come to you.
  • This happened to all of us together. We are all in this as one community.
  • Acknowledge the positive responses of the wider community. Talk about the inclusive nature of the response.
  • Listen to students if they choose to share their story.
  • It's okay to acknowledge what happened.
  • Build bridges towards a greater understanding – look for common ground.
  • Reassure children that it's safe to be at school.
  • If a student has a prolonged absence from school, connect with the family and check in with them.
  • Being inclusive brings everyone together, not just people from noticeably different groups, religions, or ethnicities.

See Cultural Awareness for further information and resources on working with others in a culturally sensitive and supportive way.