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Kiwi tech provides mental health support

Sarah Putt, Contributor. 14 April 2020, 12:11 pm

Three local tech tools designed to provide mental health support to New Zealanders during Covid-19 are receiving Government support. Minister of Health David Clark announced today that the three initiatives will be funded by the initial $500 million health response package that was announced by the Minister of Finance before lockdown.

The three tools are the Mentemia app developed by former All Black Sir John Kirwan, a health journal app called Melon and an e-therapy programme called Staying on Track.

"We know that sudden change, such as the loss of a job or income, can place real stress on people. Added to that, the pressure of being at home and the isolation that may come with that, means these apps have never been needed more," says Clark.

"These three online tools give people practical ways to support their mental wellbeing and I would encourage anyone to take a look at them."

The Mentemia app was originally aimed at serving workplaces but the extra funding means it is now available to all New Zealander throughout the Covid-19 response. Created by Kirwan and tech entrepreneur Adam Clark, Mentemia provides users with practical tips and techniques to help them take control of their wellbeing.

The Ministry of Health is also working with Mentemia to create content and tools specifically to support front line health workers and government employees in essential services.

The Melon app provides a health journal, resources and self-awareness tools to help people manage their emotional wellbeing. Melon, which is led by founder and CEOSiobhan Bulfin, also provides an online community for New Zealanders to connect and support each other and daily webinars for health and wellbeing. Melon will soon be launching additional resources to specifically support 13 to 24 year-olds. 

The third support tool is Staying on Track and is designed to help people who are experiencing worry and distress. Its cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) teaches practical strategies to cope with the stress and disruption to everyday life from Covid-19. It is has been developed by The Wise Group, a collection of community organisations.

"This is an incredibly tough time for many Kiwis, and we want people to know that they are not alone, and that there is support out there. The tools released today sit alongside the range of Government support on offer," Clark says.


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