Help a phone call away

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Help has been provided to thousands of individuals and families across the Waikato during Covid-19.

The Waikato Welfare Call Centre – reached on 0800 800 405 – has answered more than 2300 calls for help since March 31 and sent them to welfare teams for action.

North Waikato Combined Waikato Emergency Operating Centre (NWCEOC) Controller Merv Balloch said the team had the capacity to help more people.

“We want to make sure we aren’t missing anyone so if you know someone struggling, please ask them to call 0800 800 405 so they can get some help.”

In addition to call centre requests, the NWCEOC welfare team manages a small number of direct referrals, supports local foodbanks, locates emergency accommodation and connects people with medical assistance as needed.

Balloch reminded people to touch base with people who may not have helpline information.

“People who don’t use the internet may be missing out on key information about Covid-19 such as what help is available and how they can access that help. Please call your koro, kuia, aunties, uncles, cousins, nephews, friends or neighbours and share this information with them while you catch up on the phone.

“We know there are people out there doing it tough. We are here.”

The Waikato Welfare Call Centre is open from 7am to 7pm daily.

Some of its partners are below:

Financial Assistance (MSD/WINZ) – 0800 559 009

Mental health – Phone or text 1737 anytime

Depression Helpline – 0800 111 757

Anxiety NZ – 0800 269 4389

Lifeline – 0800 543 354

Alcohol & Drug Helpline – 0800 787 797

Family Violence Helpline – 0800 456 450

Victim Support – 0800 842 846

Women’s Refuge – 0800 733 843

0800 HEY BRO (439 276)

Rural Support Trust – 0800 787 254

LGBTQAI+ Helpline – 0800 688 5463

Asian Family Services – 0800 862 342

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