The Eastern Bay’s specialist mental health service for rangatahi (youth) says mental wellbeing
should be front of mind as students head back to school this week.
Glenda Gillgren who leads the Child and Adolescent (0-18 years)Specialist Mental Health Team,
Voyagers, Te Kaumoana o Ruamano in Whakatāne says despite the unsettling times most of their
clients and whānau have coped well.
“While the lockdown hasn’t worked for everyone, for some families we’ve been supporting, the
feedback has been that having more time to be together and do things has led to an improvement in
their child’s behaviour.”
The team has been keeping in touch with clients via the phone and online using apps such as
Zoom.   Glenda says this has had its pros and cons.
“By connecting online or via the phone we have noticed a drop in the number of people missing their
appointments, probably because it’s convenient, they haven’t had to travel and they have more time
on their hands.”
But she says face to face communication is always preferred when it comes to assessing underlying
issues impacting on someone’s wellbeing.
“There are signals you pick up that something is not quite right when you’re with someone that is
fairly difficult to detect online or on the phone.”
Currently the Voyagers Team includes nurses, psychologists, visiting psychiatrists, social workers,
an occupational therapist, a health and wellness coach plus two amazing administrators. The team
is supporting around 175 clients covering rangatahi and maternal mental health.
Glenda says, “Social anxiety is quite a common issue for the teenagers we see and as school goes
back we are expecting that to have an impact.”
“It’s something we should all be mindful of; there will be a period of adjustment as they move from
the home bubble back to school some will be resilient, for others it will be a struggle.”
Support is available. “We are back to business as usual as Level 2 has kicked in. We will be seeing
clients face to face with precautions in place but also being mindful of some clients that may want to
continue to utilise Zoom at times.  You can contact us on 0800 486 947.”
Helplines
Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Lifeline 0800 543 354 Free text 4357 (HELP)

Pictured above: The Voyagers, Te Kaumoana o Ruamano Team.

Youthline – Free call 0800 376 633, free text 234, email talk@youthline.co.nz or Web chat from
7pm–10pm
thelowdown.co.nz – or email team@thelowdown.co.nz or free text 5626
What’s Up – 0800 942 8787 (for 5–18 year olds). Phone counselling is available Monday to Friday,
12noon–11pm and weekends, 3pm–11pm. Online chat is available Monday to Friday from
1pm–10pm and Saturday and Sunday from 3pm–10pm.
Kidsline – 0800 54 37 54 (0800 kidsline) for young people up to 18 years of age. Open 24/7.
Voyagers Free call 0800 486947
Free online support
www.mentemia.com/
www.melonhealth.com/covid-19/
www.justathought.co.nz/covid19
In a crisis?
If this is an emergency phone 111
If you feel you or someone else is at risk or harm.
BOPDHB Mental Health Crisis Team
Whakatāne to Te Kaha