Mental Health Check: Online Therapy Options In New Zealand

Date Feb 19, 2021
Blog category Broadband
By Tina M.
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A new study by the Mental Health Foundation shows that 25% of Kiwi adults are struggling with their mental health. Many, including President of the Foundation Shaun Robinson, were “shocked but not surprised” by these findings, given the current circumstances with COVID and the country’s economic downturn

Just recently, another lockdown was declared in Papatoe, South Auckland but was lifted immediately, following early measures taken by officials. While New Zealand is doing great in containing the virus, there’s no doubt that this, among other things, has taken a toll on everyone’s mental health. 

Financial challenges

It was found that one-third of the participants experiencing financial difficulties who receive a yearly income of $50,000 or less are considered to be at risk of having poor mental wellbeing. Majority of these people seek out financial help from the foundation each year. It goes without saying that money is a major influence to one’s mental health. It’s normally a case-to-case basis that needs further assessment from your counselor. Other common factors include childhood trauma, abuse, long-term stress, bereavement, social isolation, and so on. 

“Good mental and emotional wellbeing is proven to be an asset for personal, whānau, community and work-related success,” according to Robinson. 

Robinson, along with NZ Prime Minister Jacinta Arden and Health Minister Andrew Little are committed to transform New Zealand’s mental wellbeing by bringing forth online therapy sessions that Kiwis can rely on in times of troubles. 

Is mental health free in New Zealand?

Yes. Lucky for us who live in NZ, most mental health services are free and accessible to children, adults, and the elderly. All you need is proof of your residency through their Community Mental Health Services, and they will provide you with the following:

  • Medication 
  • Rebuild your resilience 
  • Gain confidence and self-esteem
  • Identify your strengths and work towards your goals
  • Establish affordable accommodation 
  • Build stronger relationships among family and peers
  • Recover from an acute episode. 

Where to get counselling or therapy in NZ?

During this pandemic, Teletherapy is becoming more popular among young adults across the world. Thanks to the normalization of getting our mental health checked, online therapy options and free helplines in major cities have grown to reach more people.

It might not be the best option for some who still want that face to face interaction, but for those who urgently need it, teletherapy is here to provide that virtual respite. It helps decrease the stigma and provides that much needed connection with mental health professionals right away.

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Other benefits of Teletherapy 

  • Easy access to licensed mental health professionals for people in rural areas.
  • Allows users to create “nicknames” to protect their privacy. 
  • Costs less than in-person treatments.
  • Flexible schedules.
  • Therapists can treat more people online than they can in-person. According to studies, online therapy requires 7.8 times less of a therapist's time than face-to-face treatment.
  • No need to wait in a clinic.
  • People are more comfortable to reveal private information.

Online therapy options in NZ 

BetterHelp

BetterHelp is an online portal that encourages people to access services like online counselling and therapy, with the help of trained and accredited therapists, counselors, clinical doctors, and psychologists. You can choose to communicate over the phone or chat, whichever is more convenient. Their headquarters is in Mountain View, California, but their service reach spans worldwide. You will be matched with a therapist that can work with your preferred schedule.

Find them here

Online Therapy NZ

Here you can find consultants and therapists who follow a particular program based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). They can help you with stress and anxiety, as well as offer you emotional support at any time. 

Find them here

Positive Mind Works NZ

If you need further assessment of your mental health, you can go to Positive Mind Works and get the proper help you need. They have registered psychologists and experts on Educational Psychology, Clinical Psychology, and Health Psychology. They also speak several languages, including Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, Cantonese, Mandarin and Catalan.

Find them here.

Aside from these options, there are several apps and e-therapy websites you can access depending on your specific needs. Find the one you're most comfortable opening up to here.  

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The Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand provide these free helplines available 24/7:

Call or text 1737 for free to get support from a trained counsellor, or choose from any of the services below:

Lifeline 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP)
Suicide Crisis Helpline 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
Healthline 0800 611 116
Samaritans 0800 726 666
Source: Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand

“If you can improve their mental health in childhood and adolescence, it is possible that you might intervene to improve their later physical health and ageing,” shared Jasmin Wets, a postdoctoral researcher at Duke University. It's important to get therapy early on to help you navigate life better.

These virtual therapy sessions bring opportunities to offer help in these uncertain times. There is always someone ready to listen. Help is always available when you need it.

Of course, there’s no better way to communicate with a professional than with a fast and stable internet connection. 

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About the author
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Tina M.

Tina M. is a content writer and an aspiring law practitioner. She mainly writes about real estate, finance, and investing. Ever the creative, she loves painting, home renovating, and getting meme ideas from reality TV.

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