Health professionals trained in mental health can offer guidance. Start with your GP who can provide advice and referrals.
Things to remember when making an appointment:
- Ask for extra time to kōrero (talk) with your doctor.
- Consider taking a friend or whānau with you for support.
- Share how you’ve been feeling and symptoms you’ve been experiencing.
- List the things you’ve tried that have or have not helped.
- Let your doctor know if you’re on any other medications or treatments.
If your current treatment doesn’t seem to be working, you can ask to try another approach. If you’re not comfortable with your health professional, you can ask to change to another one.
Work and Income may be able help to cover the cost of prescriptions and appointments. Check to see if you are eligible for a Community Services Card here.
Check out our page about types of treatment.
Health improvement practitioners
Some GP clinics have health improvement practitioners (HIPs) who are trained mental health and addictions practitioners. They offer holistic support for mental health challenges from sleep issues to relationship challenges.
Speak to your GP to see if this is an option for you.
Counsellors and psychotherapists
Counsellors and psychotherapists assist in navigating life’s challenges. A counsellor will enable you to feel heard and will help you to see your experiences from different perspectives. They will support you to focus on feelings, experiences or behaviour that will help you to make changes for the better.
"The benefit for me was the counsellor actually had strategies to get me to understand why I was experiencing the emotions that I was." – Watch Donna's story
Psychologists and psychiatrists
Psychologists are health professionals who can assess for and diagnose mental health conditions. They offer specific talking therapies and approaches customised to individual needs.
Psychiatrists are medical doctors specialising in mental health. They collaborate with other health professionals for comprehensive care.
Social workers support individuals who are dealing with various life aspects impacting mental health, from crisis support to accessing services.
Whānau Ora navigators
Whānau Ora navigators will act as an advocate for you and your whānau through the health and social services you can access. They work from a mātauranga Māori framework.
These practitioners work in rongoā Māori, an indigenous method of healing, to help with a range of different conditions. Find a registered practitioner here.
Brief intervention councillors
Brief intervention councillors provide short interventions to help with life’s challenges. They are free to access – talk to your GP about getting a referral.