Mental and emotional wellbeing

Allowing yourself to acknowledge how you feel, think, and behave while you are on your journey of life will help you stay mentally and emotionally well while learning at AUT.

Five ways to find balance and boost your wellbeing

These are five basic actions you can use every day to help you find balance, build resilience, and boost your wellbeing.

Giving time and space to both strengthen and broaden social networks is important for wellbeing. Across all ages, relationships and participation in a social life are critical for mental wellbeing.

  • Connect with friends or family each day, smile at a stranger or have lunch with classmates
  • Get social connection tips from AUT
  • Use Meetup to join a group of people with a similar interest to you, like hiking around Auckland or board game enthusiasts. Meetup Auckland website
  • Make the most of technology like Zoom and Facetime to stay in touch with others, especially if they live far away
  • Join an AUT social sport team to connect with others. This has benefits of social inclusion, positive mental health and connection as well as physical benefits. Check out the ways you can get involved in sport at AUT
  • Check out AUTSA's events to find out what's happening on campus. AUTSA events page
  • Connect with yourself and how you're feeling. Start your mental health journey by downloading Mentemia, an app that coaches wellbeing. Mentemia website

What are your favourite things to do to connect with others? Let us know so we can share with other students.

Research shows a strong correlation between physical activity and increased wellbeing, as well as lower rates of depression and anxiety.

Physical activity doesn’t need to be particularly energetic to be beneficial. Moderate exertion three to five times a week can significantly reduce symptoms of depression, but improvements can also be seen from single bouts of exercise of less than 10 minutes.

Do something for someone – even the smallest act can count, whether it's a smile, a thank you or a kind word. Larger acts, like volunteering at your local community centre, can improve your mental wellbeing and help you build new social networks.

Try something new or pick up an old interest again. Learning, remaining curious and setting goals is important for all ages.

  • Try a new sport or activity
  • Try a new cooking or baking recipe and enjoy the results
  • Read a classic novel you have always been meaning to read
  • Makerspace / Studio55 in the Library – work on a creative, DIY project. Have a look at some of the ideas here for upcycling your clothes, harakeke from home and more on the library website.
  • Check the Compost Collective to learn about how you can reduce your waste and get composting at home
  • Learn about what is happening inside your brain when you engage in different wellbeing activities. Watch on YouTube: learn about your happy hormones

Appreciate the little things and savour the moment. Developing skills that increase awareness of what is immediately happening – both physically and mentally, within and around us – can improve wellbeing.

  • Take a moment to sit down and notice how you feel, what you see, what you hear and what you are thinking and jot it down
  • Take a study break for 10 minutes and try some mindful colouring, try Just Color website
  • Get outside for a walk without any headphones and notice all the things you see and hear
  • For more mindful activities, check out the Watch and Listen section of the AUT app
  • ‘Get centred’ video from Bright Side

Need support?

Mental health support is not just face to face sessions with a counsellor – check out the different types of free support available to find one that suits you.

You don’t need to be in crisis or have a mental health diagnosis to access services.

AUT offers free counselling and mental health support to all students. Call or email to make an appointment, or find out more below.

+64 9 921 9292
Counselling and mental health support


Free text or call 1737 anytime, 24 hours a day. You can talk or text with a trained counsellor.


Call Puāwaitanga on 0800 782 999 for a free counselling session over the phone or online.

Need a chat?

Send a message to our RUOK Advisor team


Do you want support digitally and anonymously? Clearhead can do a quick 5-minute mental health check-up with you. Available in English and te reo Māori


Call OUTline on 0800 688 5463 any evening, 6pm-9pm. Free, anonymous, LGBTIQ+ affirming support line.

Supporting a family member or friend you're concerned about

If you're concerned about the mental wellbeing of a friend or family member, here are some ways you can help them.

It can be difficult to know what to say when you know a friend is having a tough time. Check out these resources for advice about how to talk about things.

One conversation can be extremely powerful. For many people, feeling supported is just what they need. It can be a challenge to know exactly what to say when someone tells you they are stressed, having a difficult day or have a mental health need.

The V-A-R approach

V-A-R is a guide to having a conversation in a way that lets the person know they’re being heard and they’re not alone, by using the elements Validate, Appreciate, Refer.

It's for non-crisis situations. If someone mentions suicide or is considering hurting themselves it’s critical to help them seek professional help.

3 V-A-R Steps (active minds website)


In emergencies, contact the emergency services: dial 111 immediately.


In non-emergencies, you can use the services below:

Calling all artists

Do you have a drawing you think others would enjoy mindfully colouring in? Share it with us and we'll post some here for others to use.


Got feedback?

We'd love to hear your feedback. Let us know:

  • Are the resources useful?
  • What could we do to make it better?
  • Are there any wellbeing events you would like to see happen on campus?

Email us:

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