We all experience some degree of depression and anxiety in our lives - they're part of being human. But when should we seek help? What treatments are available?

September 23-29 is Mental Health Awareness Week. The Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand this year is asking Kiwis to explore their way to wellbeing, to discover things that make you feel good.

Sometimes, a chat with friends, exercise, reading and meditation can lift us out of a funk. But what happens when sad and anxious feelings interfere with our lives? Reporter Dawn Picken spoke with people about what has worked - and what hasn't - to manage emotional pain.

Surfing waves of wellness

"I just wanted to change my life. I was really depressed. Nothing was really happening for me." - Brandon, aged 23

Brandon Judd-Symes says surfing saved his life. The 23-year-old says he used to be depressed, unemployed, smoked weed daily and was on the verge of homelessness.

"If it wasn't for a phone call last year I don't know what would've happened. It was pretty bad. I was never into self-harming or anything like that, but I just wanted the pain of living to end, the pain of struggle."

Judd-Symes' probation officer suggested he join the


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Working to change her life

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Waiting for the money

Mental health service for older people