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Digital Small Steps To Improve Wellbeing

Te Hiringa Hauora | Health Promotion Agency has today launched a new website, Small Steps, featuring engaging locally-developed digital tools to help people improve their wellbeing.

Small Steps are a range of digital activities to support people to develop the skills they need to maintain or improve their mental health and wellbeing. The initial six tools focus on positive thinking and mindfulness to manage stress or anxiety, and help for those who are feeling down. A further six tools will be added to the website in coming months.

Te Hiringa Hauora partnered with innovative mental health social enterprise Clearhead to develop Small Steps.

“This is a unique public-private partnership,” Te Hiringa Hauora chief executive Tane Cassidy says. “We are really proud of the website, which is beautifully illustrated and zero-rated, meaning it can be used without data. That is important from an equity perspective.”

Clearhead chief executive Dr Angela Lim says the partnership has enabled them to scale up their impact and ensure great digital wellbeing tools are accessible to all New Zealanders. “We have a strong social mission to reach and provide free support to as many Kiwis as possible and it’s a real privilege to work with Te Hiringa Hauora on this.”

The website and tools are available in English and te reo Māori and have been developed based on clinical evidence and a te Ao Māori lens. The website and digital tools will be continually updated to meet user expectations, adapt to new technology, and build on the evidence of what works.

Small Steps is set to become a trusted go-to site for friends and whānau who want to better support people they know who are struggling with their wellbeing. It is also available for social and mental health services when working with their clients.

The digital activities are designed to help people take the time to understand their feelings of disruption, distress or disconnection. The tools can help people centre themselves so they have the space to reflect and get a deeper sense of clarity on what has happened and how to best respond.

Dr Lim says the past year has been turbulent with the impact of COVID-19 on people's mental health. Clearhead’s real-time mental health data showed anxiety reached a peak last May with 50.7% of its nationwide users struggling with anxiety.

Small Steps is funded by the Ministry of Health as part of the government’s commitment to expanding the range of digital wellbeing solutions available to New Zealanders.

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