Accessing Mental Health Services

If you need urgent mental health support, call your local mental health crisis team now. If you’re worried about someone’s immediate physical safety, call 111
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If you feel mentally unwell, your best starting point is usually your GP (family doctor). GPs are trained to assess, treat and manage many mental health issues. Your GP can refer you to your local community mental health service or elsewhere if needed. They may be able to support you to manage your mental health without needing to refer you to other services.

Please note the Mental Health Foundation does not recommend or endorse particular services, organisations or individuals, but provides information to help you to make your own choice.

Help finding a GP

If you are not registered with a GP and need help to find one

  • Call the national free Healthline service on 0800 611 116
  • Search the Healthpoint database for GPs or specialists in your area 
  • Use the Yellow Pages book, GPs are listed in in the green tab, near the middle under “Medical Practitioners & Medical Centres” You can also search the Yellow Pages Online 
  • Doctor Pricer can help you find a local GP practice that is within your budget.

Community Mental Health Services

Your local community mental health team provides free mental health services and is usually run at the hospital. There may be specialist Maori, Pacific Island, Adult, Older Persons and Child & Adolescent mental health services. You will usually need to be referred by your GP who will need to assess you first and check if you meet the referral criteria set out by the service. The community mental health team also run the Mental Health Crisis service who you can contact in a mental health emergency.

How to find a therapist or mental health professional

The Mental Health Foundation does not recommend or endorse particular services, organisations or individuals, but provides information to help you to make your own choice. 

Accessing low cost mental health care:

  • To find low cost or free counselling in your area, search the Family Services Directory, or contact your local CAB.
  • Your GP can link you in with low cost services near you. Your GP can support you to access the WINZ Disability Allowance to pay for some counselling sessions.
  • If you are in paid employment you may be able to access free confidential counselling through your company’s Employee Assistance Program – talk to your employer.
  • Most tertiary institutes (eg Universities) offer free counselling services through their health centers.
  • Local Women’s or Men’s Centers may have listings for low cost counselling practices or offer low cost counselling themselves.
  • Local youth centers often have health hubs that offer counselling services.
  • ACC funds support following sexual violence if it occurred in New Zealand. Visit the Find Support website to find an ACC registered therapist. 

Finding a therapist privately

You can search for a therapist using the databases on the websites below. When you work with a therapist privately you will have to pay for the appointment. You may be able to access the WINZ Disability Allowance to help cover some of the costs.