How the health system works

New Zealand’s health system is likely to be very different from the health system in international students’ home countries. This page should give you the information you need to advise students when they first come to New Zealand, and to access support on their behalf if necessary.


What to do in a crisis

Anyone can experience a mental health crisis. Students do not need to have a severe mental health disorder to be in crisis.

A mental health crisis is when someone is unable to cope with the stresses of everyday living in a functional and safe way. They may not necessarily be a danger to themselves or others: a mental health crisis may look and feel differently for each person.


Being a support person

The earlier a student receives support for emotional, behavioural or social difficulties, the better chance they have of overcoming these hurdles and avoiding more serious mental illnesses.

Supporting an international student who is showing signs of a mental illness lets them know someone cares and shows them who to go to if they need help.


Starting a conversation

Research has consistently shown that anxiety, stress and depression are the most common mental health issues among international students.