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Hidden Disabilities

Hospitals are busy environments and can be stressful for many people, particularly if you are unsure what to expect on the day.

If you have a disability that isn’t immediately obvious to our staff, such as; autism, dementia, a hearing impairment, anxiety (or one of the many invisible disabilities) you may want to wear a hidden disability lanyard during your time with us.

The lanyard is also called the “Sunflower Lanyard” because of its appearance – a strip of green with a pattern of yellow sunflowers.

By wearing the lanyard, our staff will recognise you have an invisible disability and may need a little extra help or time.


Hidden Disabilities cardSunflower Lanyard

Health NZ - Waitematā is now proudly participating in the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyard scheme. If you, or someone you are with, has an invisible disability you can choose to wear a Sunflower Lanyard and make your disability visible to our staff. The Sunflower Programme offers people a discrete way to indicate to staff that they have a hidden disability and may need a little extra support, guidance, or time with the healthcare process. For more information on the Sunflower Lanyard, watch this video -  What is the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower? - YouTube.


What to expect when you are wearing a lanyard

Health NZ - Waitematā staff recognise the Sunflower Lanyard and can provide you with help you may need at the different stages of your time with us. If you are feeling overwhelmed, staff can slow down a process for you and offer extra assurance. 

What the lanyard does not do

The Sunflower lanyard ensures that our staff are aware of an invisible disability and can support you if extra assistance is needed while you are in our care, but it will not provide a fast track through queues or provide you with a staff escort through the hospital.

How to obtain a Sunflower Lanyard

You can purchase a sunflower lanyard from Hidden Disabilities.

Once you receive a Sunflower Lanyard it is yours to keep and use for future journeys or outings where the scheme is recognised.