Accessing wellbeing support used to be hard. Really hard! People and whānau who were already experiencing considerable stress and hardship had no option but to navigate barrier after barrier to get the help they needed. Sadly, many gave up.
So when COVID first arrived in Aotearoa New Zealand in March 2020, a small innovative team from Wise Group collaborated with community providers to change the face of accessing and delivering wellbeing support. Our dream was to make getting wellbeing support as easy as ordering a pizza. In three short weeks, ‘Here to help u’ was built and launched amidst our first-ever lockdown.
The tool has proven how powerful and responsive communities and the sector can be when they work together within one central platform. The online tool and system are considered a total game changer for the sector, for people, whānau, and communities. In just over two short years, 100,000 people and whānau received the support they needed through ‘Here to help u’. With high need in the community due to the ongoing impacts of COVID and the cost-of-living crisis, the number of people supported keeps climbing rapidly. The tool addresses inequities in access, with 65% of people supported identifying as Māori, Pasifika or from migrant communities. Over 270 providers and large referrers are signed on to refer people in or to accept assignments, including Fire and Emergency New Zealand, New Zealand Police, Kāinga Ora, MSD, Iwi providers, Māori health hubs, Pasifika providers and many schools and kura.
The courage, dedication, energy, and collective mahi of the incredible ‘Here to help u’ team, the many providers, and our funders have made supporting so many people and whānau possible. We thank everyone who is part of this kaupapa and who believes that getting the right wellbeing support when you need it should be easy.Published on: 16 October 2022