COVID-19 and our economy
Our economy has been hit hard by COVID-19 and like thousands of others you might be feeling the impact of it. You might be facing redundancy, a pay cut, reduced work hours, increased living costs, or you might be finding it super hard to find a new job. If any of this is happening to you, it’s important to remember that it’s not your fault, you’re not alone, and it’s totally normal to feel stressed out.
We’ve put together some information to help you look after yourself, your whānau and your money.
Start by taking care of yourself
When you’re worried about money, wellbeing may not seem relevant. However, your mental, physical, family, and spiritual health is still important and can help you navigate these tough times.
- Talk about your problems and ask for help. We all know it can be hard to ask for help, but remember that in tough times it’s normal to feel worried, so don’t keep those worries to yourself. Talk to someone you can trust and ask for help whenever you need it. For support with grief, anxiety, distress or mental wellbeing, you can call or text 1737 – free, anytime, 24/7 – to talk with a trained counsellor.
- Remember your true value and worth is not determined by your job or how much money you have. Your true value is who you are and what you mean to those close to you.
- Make a plan: A plan can boost your confidence and help you feel more in control. This plan could include where and how you’ll look for new work, making a budget, and deciding on who to talk to if things get tough.
- Sometimes it’s hard to know if what you’re feeling is normal or if you might be experiencing depression or anxiety. You can take a self-test for depression and anxiety and find out more information.
- Other options, information and tools to support you with your wellbeing are available here or check out these tips for when you’re in quarantine.
Financial help and support options
It can be stressful if you've lost your job or are facing a drop in income. But there is help and support available.
- Seeking financial help can be a bit daunting. But, luckily we live in a country that has financial support available to help you and your whānau through the tough times. Find more information and COVID-19 support options from Work and Income and IRD.
- Planning a budget and sorting out your finances can feel scary. But making a plan and sticking to a budget can give you something to be in control of.
- If you're visiting an agency or organisation (eg, Work and Income) for assistance, check the current alert level and whether you can take a support person with you. It's also a good idea to be prepared. Check what your rights are and what assistance you might be entitled to. Look up what documents you might need. Have a think about how you'll explain what you need.
- https://check.msd.govt.nz/ – ‘Check what you can get’ helps you find out what benefits and payments may be available to you
- If you receive a benefit, this will continue, as usual.
- Money Talks and fincap.org.nz give free and confidential budgeting advice. They have phone help, live chat, email and text and can link you with a local service.
- Call the free financial advice Money Talks helpline on 0800 345 123.
- You can find your local budgeting advice service here.
Looking for work
If you’ve lost your job, one of the main things on your mind will be finding another one. While some of us might find a job quickly, for others it could take longer as there’s a lot more competition out there. Keep at it and make sure you have someone you can talk to if you start feeling stuck or let down.
Connected.govt.nz is a great website created specifically to help with getting back into work or training after a COVID-19 job loss.
Careers NZ has some great information to help with job hunting and CV writing:
You can also call for advice: 0800 601 301 or Chat online.
Tips from someone who knows
Rita lost her job because of COVID-19. She shares her thoughts and advice in the video below.
More free information, support and apps
Getting Through Together
- You can find tips and advice on how to cope with the stress of COVID-19 in the Getting Through Together toolkit, developed by All Right? in partnership with the Canterbury DHB and the Mental Health Foundation: Getting Through Together.
- The Mentemia app provides practical tips and techniques to help you take control of your mental wellbeing. It was created by All Blacks legend and mental health advocate Sir John Kirwan, tech entrepreneur Adam Clark, and an expert team of medical advisors.
- The Melon app provides a health journal, resources and self-awareness tools to help you manage your emotional wellbeing. Melon also provides an online community for New Zealanders to connect and support each other, and daily webinars for health and wellbeing.
Staying on Track
- The Staying on Track online course teaches practical strategies to cope with the stress and disruption to everyday life from COVID-19.
Unite against Covid-19 is the New Zealand Government’s website dedicated to Aotearoa-New Zealand’s COVID-19 response.
Anxiety New Zealand Trust has helped thousands of children, adolescents and adults in Aotearoa-New Zealand to build their resilience and recover from anxiety, depression, OCD and phobias.
Mental Health Foundation leads campaigns and services that cover all aspects of mental health and wellbeing. They provide free information and training, and advocate for policies and services that support people with experience of mental illness, and also their families, whānau and friends.
- Unite against COVID-19 – financial support.
- Unite against COVID-19 – employment support. Tips on finding a job and careers advice.
- Work and Income New Zealand - Information for people who have been affected by COVID-19.
- The New Zealand Government’s Sorted website has a huge amount of information about money and finances
- Tackling debt and knowing your rights.
- COVID-19 and your money – seven things you can do right now.
- A tool to help you with your budgeting.
- The Citizens Advice Bureau also has lots of useful information.
- The Ministry of Health’s website has some useful suggestions about mental health services.