News and Media

Getting in touch

We’ re keen to talk about the work we do. And we work positively with media to do that.

Contact us on our media line 027 406 1834 or email us

A day in the life of a mental health helpline - Stuff

Like most articles about mental health, this story has a list of helpline numbers at the end. But who actually picks up when you make that call or text? Mental health and addiction counsellors at the National Telehealth Service handle 15000 phone or text sessions a month. Adam Dudding spent a day with the MH&A team to get an inside look into what happens when you call a helpline. Read more.

Pets twice as likely to get cancer if exposed to tobacco smoke – Quitline

New Zealand is a nation of animal lovers, pets are part of our whānau. Three out of five households have a pet, that’s around 4.6 million companion animals. 1 out of 10 New Zealanders smoke. Our pets are at risk of many health issues if they’re exposed to tobacco smoke; dogs and cats are twice as likely to get cancer if their owners smoke around them and other animals too - including birds and guinea pigs - are susceptible to a range of health issues. Quitline is launching ‘Quit for your pets’ –  an evidence- based ‘nudge’ campaign that takes  a unique angle to motivate people to quit smoking – by highlighting the harm that smoking can cause their pets, and encouraging animal-loving smokers to think about quitting smoking not just for themselves but for their pet too. Read more.

Happy 25th Birthday to Plunketline

Happy birthday PlunketLine! From the Healthline team we’d like to congratulate you on 25 years of amazing service for children and their whānau around New Zealand. In the 3 ½ years we’ve collaborated with you, 90,948 parents and whānau have received health advice from your nurses – using the national telehealth service clinical and technology platform. It’s been a pleasure working with you and we look forward celebrating many more birthdays to come. 

1737 support

The events in Christchurch on 15 March are so distressing. The team have been making sure that all those impacted and distressed by what’s happened know that if they, or someone they know, needs mental wellbeing support or advice then call or text 1737 for free, anytime for support from a trained counsellor.

We’ve worked with the Ministry of Health and other health leaders on some great advice on coping after a traumatic event. It’s here - in  English, Arabic, Indonesian, Malay and Turkish. It includes key info for parents for children

We’ve been doing all we can to ensure people know about the support available and we’ve been working with media to do that:

Clinicians volunteer their weekend to help kiwis struggling after Christchurch attack
Health helpline takes hundreds of calls after mosque shootings
Big increase in calls to mental health support service after Christchurch shooting

We also created posters to let the community know support is available to them. Click on each poster below to download the pdf. 

1737 blue poster preview1737 teal poster preview1737 black poster preview

Media guidelines for reporting on the events of 15 March 2019

Media have played a significant role in keeping the public informed about events around the Christchurch terrorist events and the aftermath of those events. We have worked with the Ministry of Health, the Canterbury District Health Board and the Mental Health Foundation on guidelines for media, to get their assistance to help reduce the harmful impact of the events on the health of the nation. It was important to note in the guidelines that we are aware that journalists covering the terror attacks are under enormous pressure and are having to hear and see things that are extremely distressing, their wellbeing is important too. 

Privileged to be part of official Royal Visit

5 November 2018
Our CEO Andrew Slater, Mel Grant (Special Projects Manager – MH&A) and John Francis (MH&A Professional) from our team had the privilege of meeting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at an event in Wellington, focussed on initiatives to promote youth mental health. Andrew, Mel and John were invited to talk about how we pioneered text counselling in New Zealand with the 1737 service. They met the Duke and Duchess at Maranui Café where they spent time discussing the importance of destigmatising mental health and the pressures from social media. We’re proud to represent 1737 and Meghan asked to wear a 1737 badge!

Our team with the Duke and Duchess

1737 Article in the Listener

3 August 2018
To coincide with the first anniversary of the launch of the 1737 service, Andrew was interviewed by the Listener magazine, which was published  Friday July 13th. In the extensive article, Andrew reflects on how important 1737 is, the types of calls we've received and what we've learnt from a year of running the service. Andrew also spoke about the number of young people, aged 13-24 who have been using the service. Read the full article here.

Official Launch of Safe to Talk He pai ki te kōrero

1 June 2018
New Zealand's new sexual harm helpline, Safe to talk He pai ki te kōrero is giving people the chance to seek free, anonymous and confidential support from one central place, says Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. The Minister today officially launched Safe to talk He pai ki te kōrero which provides nationwide 24/7 access to free confidential information and support to people affected by sexual harm in any way.

Support for Mental Health Awareness Week 2017

15 October 2017
The newly launched 1737 helpline which helps anyone struggling with mental health and addictions, has been contacted more than 5,600 times and the largest demographic reaching out, is young people. Eighteen per cent of those seeking help are aged 13 to 19 years old and 19 per cent are 20 to 24. Psychiatrist David Codyre says "bullying is such a huge driver of depressions for young people".

Homecare Medical awarded contract to develop and operate the country's 24/7 sexual violence helpline

1 September 2017
The Ministry is leading the development and implementation of a new national sexual violence helpline accessible via phone and internet, called Safe to talk. Safe to talk will be: available nationwide, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Accessible by a number of modes including phone, online chat, email and text/SMS. Free and allows people to access information, crisis support and referral to local service providers.

Homecare Medical selected as coordination services provider for the National Bowel Screening Programme

24 August 2017
The free screening programme for men and women aged 60 to 74 is being rolled out progressively throughout New Zealand. The roll-out started with Hutt Valley and Wairarapa District Health Boards in July.

Over a million contacts made to National Telehealth Service

21 July 2017
"The National Telehealth Service operates a number of significant health information services and this week hit a million contacts in just under 20 months, with 1,002,952 contacts this morning," says Dr Coleman. "This includes over 600,000 contacts to Healthline, 141,000 to mental health and addiction services, 150,000 to Quitline and 43,000 for poisons advice."

Elder Abuse Response Service (EARS) launched

30 June 2017
"From tomorrow nationwide education, prevention and awareness work will be run through the Office for Seniors freeing up frontline providers to actively help older people facing different abuse situations," Ms Barry says. "With translation services available to the free 24/7helpline, and providers selected to ensure services are culturally responsive, the new service will be able to serve different ethnic groups, including Maori, Pasifika, Indian, Chinese and Korean communities."

1737 and Early Mental Health Response Services launched

29 June 2017
Two initiatives, '1737, need to talk?'' and Early Mental Health Response (EMHR) were launched in Auckland on Thursday, to provide a "new front door" to mental health support and intervention. The services are a joint venture between the police, ambulance, Ministry of Health and Homecare Medical's National Telehealth Service - centralising mental health support through one 4-digit number, 1737

New services to support disabled people in work

4 May 2017
Employer Advice Line, a free phone-based service offering advice to employers about how to support new or existing disabled employees recently launched. Callers get information and advice specific to their situation, including local support services and organisations.

New Consultation Summaries for GPs

6 April 2017
Homecare Medical (formerly HML) will soon be sending Healthline consultation summaries to all GPs, where the service user has given us consent to do so. The summaries are to let you know we took a call from your patient, the history taken and what we advised. GPs will receive the summaries via HealthLink into their PMS system and, where possible, the summaries will have NHIs to allow easy filing. Here's a sample of what a consultation summary will look like.

Response to Kaikoura earthquakes

21 November 2016
The Earthquake Support Line has been extended nationally, and it has reported a number of calls from the Wellington region. While calls to the national telehealth service have stabilised, the Earthquake Support Line is seeing increased volumes. As of this morning, the Earthquake Support Line (0800 777 846) and national telehealth service have answered 14,365 calls since the earthquake.

Free earthquake support line for everyone

16 November 2016
In response to the recent earthquakes and aftershocks, the Ministry of Health has bolstered its 24/7 Earthquake Support Line 0800 777 846 being run by the National Telehealth Service. The support line, which offers social and psychological support, is open to anyone anxious or concerned about how the situation is affecting them or their whanau. They can call for emotional support, advice or just for someone to talk to. There is also a special webpage www.health.govt.nz/earthquakesupportline with information and resources to help people get through.

More Kiwis receiving help via telehealth service

1 November 2016
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says the national telehealth service has helped around 425,000 New Zealanders since its launch one year ago. "The integration of telehealth services on one platform delivered by one provider means that Kiwis who makes contact - no matter what phoneline or channel they use - receive the appropriate help they need," says Dr Coleman.

Homecare Medical features in New Zealand Doctor

11 May 2016
Medical emergencies don't keep normal office hours and telehealth is increasingly being employed to cater for the demand for 24/7 triage and advice. Last year, the country's various health helplines were merged after a government tender won by Homecare Medical. Cliff Taylor visits the company's Auckland HQ to see how the service is doing, six months after going live. Published with permission of New Zealand Doctor. Read the article here.

Roger Sowry Homecare Medical's new chairman

8 December 2015
New Zealand telehealth services provider Homecare Medical has announced the appointment of Roger Sowry as independent Chairman of the Homecare Medical Board.

Homecare Medical announced as successful national telehealth partner

18 June 2015
Homecare Medical has been announced as the successful partner to develop and deliver new integrated national telehealth service.

Four Kauri Medical Centre fire

8 June 2015
A fire broke out at the Four Kauri Medical Centre at about 7.30am on Thursday 28 May.

Pegasus Health and ProCare join forces to deliver telehealth services

17 February 2014
Two of the country's leading primary health networks Pegasus Health and ProCare have joined forces in delivering a variety of telephone and virtual health services available to more than 2.2 million people in New Zealand.