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'Clearhead calls for NZ to consider their mental wellbeing going into 2021'

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Clearhead, an online mental health support platform designed by NZ doctors, is calling on New Zealanders to prioritise their mental wellbeing ahead of the New Year to build resilience for 2021.

Clearhead CEO and co-founder Dr Angela Lim says 2020 has been a tough year full of ups and downs for many people.

"With 2021 just around the corner, many New Zealanders are breathing a sigh of relief in the belief that everything is going to suddenly be better next year. However, many of the challenges we have faced in 2020 will continue into the new year, so it’s really important people are thinking ahead about how they can support their mental health."

Since Clearhead’s 2018 launch, the platform has been providing Kiwis with the tools and support to build awareness and maintain their mental health and wellbeing. Clearhead’s website and app offers a private wellbeing virtual assistant that mimics a supportive conversation with a trusted friend or health professional. A personalised wellbeing plan is then created for the user to learn and work through, on their own terms, and at their own pace.

Dr Lim says that since covid-19 broke out, Clearhead has seen a fivefold increase in its users. With the disruptive, ongoing effects of Covid-19 on people’s lives, there has never been a more critical time for Kiwi’s to be mentally aware and strong.

"2020 has been a tough year for everyone. From March to September, we saw a 270% increase in users experiencing suicidal thoughts and a 200% increase in users experiencing thoughts of harming themselves. Alongside this, the Christmas season brings a whole other set of stress and anxiety to people’s lives. Based on trends from previous years, we expect that this will increase even more during this Christmas period. This is why Clearhead has put a real emphasis into reaching out to New Zealanders during this time.

"Now is the time for Kiwis to take the time to reflect on the past year, acknowledge what has happened and build resilience to get through 2021."

"We have already seen a 25% increase in people using Clearhead in the first few weeks of December, and we are expecting this will continue to rise into January." says Dr Lim

After being awarded a $30,000 grant from TSB Good Stuff earlier this year, Clearhead launched a new Support Person Wellbeing Plan on the 8th of December. This provides New Zealanders with the guidance and tools they need, to support their loved ones through tough times.

"My team worked really hard to get this service ready before the new year, and we are so happy that we can finally share this with New Zealanders," says Dr Lim.

For Kiwis struggling with mental health challenges, having the right help from the people closest to you, makes a huge difference for managing your wellbeing. We all want to help the people we love, we often just don’t know how to do that, so Clearhead gives you the information and guidance you need to feel empowered and ready to help when a loved one is struggling.

People who are struggling can nominate a loved one to support them and together they can complete a suicide safety plan which reduces the burden of problem-solving when a crisis is looming and the ability to think clearly is impaired.

"These plans are a reminder of cherished memories, simple pleasures that give comfort, and people who care and can be counted on to respond when needed."

Clearhead’s social mission is to help as many people as possible get the mental health support they need to create sustained positive wellbeing, with the right tools and support anyone can achieve this, and there is no more critical time to do this, than heading into the new year. So if you, or someone you love needs some support, we encourage you to use Clearhead to get a plan in place so you’re prepared to make 2021 the best one yet for you and your whānau.

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