0800 counselling service open over holidays

File photo/SunLive.

0800 What’s Up is continuing to operate during the festive season for tamariki and rangatahi (youth) who reach out to the service during the summer break and is expanding its hours to cope with demand.

The free counselling service will be open on Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and all of the summer holidays between 11am to 11pm, seven days a week.

0800 What’s Up Team Lead Lesley Butler says there is still a sizeable number of tamariki and rangatahi reaching out to the service during the festive season.

Common topics include; missing their classmates and friends, increased family conflict, anxiety, depression, feeling lonely and risk increase from having more time to think and adapt to not having their support crew around them.

“For some tamariki and rangatahi, the holiday season can be a stressful time when there is conflict at home, at a time when they don’t have their usual social supports from school. 

“We’ve had children call us in the past because they don’t think they’ll receive Christmas presents and they know their whānau are struggling financially. There can be a range of issues that can cause stress”, says Lesley.

0800 What’s Up have also expanded their operating hours by opening earlier at 11am every day to accommodate to the increased need from tamariki and teens.

To contact What’s Up, call 0800 942 8787 or chat with a trained counsellor at

Over the last 15 months, 0800 What’s Up has answered over 17,000 calls and chats from tamariki and teens seeking to speak with someone about issues they are facing daily.

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