Emotional Assistance

As things change feelings can change too. Living with a neuromuscular condition has its challenges and sometimes it can help to acknowledge that emotions are a part of these challenges. If you or your loved ones need a bit of extra support in this area we are here to help you. 

As a simple starting point we have a booklet on what you might experience after a diagnosis with a neuromuscular condition for yourself or a loved one. Click here for an online version of "Everyday Heroes" or email info@mda.org.nz and we can post one out to you.

Contact your local MDA Fieldworker

The MDA Fieldworkers are here to help you as an MDA member, whether you are the person diagnosed with a neuromuscular condition, a carer, or a friend or family member of someone living with the condition. They have in-depth knowledge of a range of neuromuscular conditions, and will have a better understanding of your needs and challenges.  Have a chat over the phone or they can come to you for a kanohi ki te kanohi/face-to-face visit. They may have some real practical suggestions that have worked for others to offer as well. This service is offered free of charge to MDA members and is funded through donations and grants. Contact your local MDA Branch to be put in contact with your fieldworker. 

 Talk to a counsellor 

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The MDA NZ provides up to three free confidential counselling sessions per year to MDA members living with a neuromuscular condition+. The aim is to help MDA members who have a neuromuscular condition, their carers and other whanau/family members by partnering with EAPworks to allow easy access to professional, accredited and experienced counsellors in alignment with the MDA's VISION "people living with a neuromuscular condition having unrestricted opportunities to achieve their full potential" 

Challenges can come in all shapes and sizes which means that the issue that may be keeping you up at night or the strong emotions that you may be experiencing may not be directly related to a neuromuscular condition. If you think that you need that little bit more assistance to get through then please phone 0800 SELFHELP (735 343) and let EAPworks know what you need and give them your membership number*.

This gives MDA members living with a neuromuscular condition (any MDA member who has a neuromuscular condition or lives with or takes care of a person with a neuromuscular condition)  access to three fully funded counselling sessions appropriate to your issue paid for by the MDA. Everything discussed is confidential. Other members will need to be approved on a case by case basis. 


EAPworks' counsellors are carefully selected to ensure they have appropriate tertiary professional qualifications, must possess current membership of a relevant professional body and/or government registration, minimum of 5 years' experience undertaking regular supervision, and possessing current professional indemnity insurance.

More information about EAPworks

+Disclaimer: The initial three sessions in any 12 month period will be at no cost to eligible MDA members, further sessions will be at the members own expense unless further sessions have been preapproved by the MDA's Information and Resource Manager. Sessions do not accumulate and are on an as needed basis. The MDA NZ Ltd has taken reasonable steps to ensure that the quality of the service provider is high but cannot take responsibility for any failings of EAPworks in the provision of this service. All sessions are provided at the discretion of the MDA NZ Ltd and are reliant on funds being available. This service may be withdrawn without notice.     

*If you do not know your membership number please contact MDA National Office on 0800 800 337 or email info@mda.org.nz to request it. 



Join the MDA Support Network 

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What is the MDA Support Network? 
The MDA Support Network allows people with similar circumstances or issues to come together to share their experiences and provide each other with emotional and moral support in addition to practical advice and information. By bringing together people with common experiences, support networks can provide an invaluable addition to medical care. The MDA of New Zealand Support Network currently has over 400 members throughout New Zealand who want to be in touch with others living with neuromuscular conditions.

How can you be a part of the MDA Support Network?
If you are an existing member of the MDA then please email info@mda.org.nz or phone 0800 800 337 and select option 1 to request the MDA Support Network Application Form.

If you are currently NOT a member of the MDA then you will need to join first. Click here to be taken to our application form, as part of the process of joining you are asked if you would like to be part of the MDA Support Network. Complete the form and then scan and email to info@mda.org.nz or post to:
PO Box 12 063
Penrose, Auckland, 1642. 

You can also talk to your local MDA Fieldworker who can suggest other MDA members who might be a good match to your situation. Contact your  local MDA Branch to be put in contact.

Attend one of the support groups available

Check out the support groups that are available here.

Other Support Services

Community Based Agencies

Some community-based agencies, for example Home and Family Counselling and Lifeline, offer face-to-face counselling sessions and don't set fees for their services. Instead clients are asked to make a donation which they can afford. Many counsellors, however do charge a fee for their services but funding for this can be sourced through WINZ if you are receiving the Disability Allowance or are on a low income. However you are limited to a set amount of counselling sessions via this method.

Telephone counselling

Telephone counselling is a professional service that enables callers to work through issues affecting their life, reaching decisions that are constructive and positive.  It may be in moment of crisis but need not be - there are times in everyone's life when even small problems can seem insurmountable and talking it through with someone can be of real help. Telephone counselling is not "problem solving" and it is not giving advice or advocating a particular course of action.  It is rather, about forming an empathic and non-judgmental relationship in which the caller feels safe to talk about anything, often in a way that is not possible with family or friends.