When you’re feeling bad it’s tempting to pull the covers over your head and shut out the world.

But it doesn’t actually help.

It’s really important to stay connected to friends and whānau. They may notice when you’re not in a good space and once they know what you’re going through they could help. You might even find out they’ve been where you are right now.

Staying connected to the people in your life is helpful for lots of reasons. They can encourage you (sometimes with a bit of arm-twisting) to keep doing the things you used to enjoy or even try new things. It seems really obvious but sometimes, doing fun stuff and sharing time with other people can make you to feel happier.

You don’t need masses of friends to be happy - it’s the quality of relationships that matters, not how many friends you have on Facebook. But sometimes your thoughts might trick you into thinking that no one likes you, making you feel koretake (useless). The thoughts may tell you untrue or unhelpful stuff about yourself, but if you keep on connecting with others, it will show you those messages are untrue.

They can help you take that first step to get back out there (like the sport or music you used to enjoy) and it’ll boost your confidence to keep going.

You could also ask them to go to the doctor with you if you’re finding it hard to talk about your problems. It makes a huge difference.

It’s a fact that people who have more contact with whānau and friends are more likely to be happy.- so keep in touch with your support crew.

Ki te kotahi te kākaho ka whati, ki te kāpuia, e kore e whati – ‘If there is but one toetoe stem it will break, but if they are together in a bundle they will never break’