Mental health resources

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, phone 111 or your national emergency line.

If you are in New Zealand, you can phone the Suicide Crisis Helpline on 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO). They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also text 1737 to talk to a trained counsellor.

Click here for more New Zealand specific mental health helplines.

If you are struggling with your mental health, the best place to start is your family doctor. They are able to refer you to an appropriate service, prescribe medication and discuss medical and lifestyle changes that can help improve your mental health.

Below are some of the mental health resources that have been and still are helpful to me.

Medication:

  • Headmeds was recommended to me by a family therapist when I was first prescribed medication for my mental illnesses. It is designed specifically for young people and discusses several different medications and their effects on driving, sports, sex, weight and cognitive function (which is important if you have exams or important assignments due when you first start a medication). It has been fundamental in helping me understand all the different medications I have been on.

Anxiety:

Here is some brief information on anxiety. An intensive Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) group and individual program was the most effective treatment I have received for my general and social anxiety.

  • I use the Calm meditation app when I am feeling very stressed and am unable to self-soothe.

Eating disorders:

The Eating Disorder Association of New Zealand (EDANZ) provides detailed information and support on eating disorders. The most effective treatment for eating disorders in patients under 18 years of age is Family Based Treatment (FBT).

  • This article by poet Blythe Baird, published by treatment centre The Emily Program, shares some transformative, thought-provoking ways to challenge your eating disorder’s beliefs and think of yourself, and your worthiness, differently.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder:

Click here for some brief information on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The International OCD Foundation’s website has comprehensive information on OCD, including resources for families and support people. The best treatment for OCD is Exposure and Response Prevention therapy (ERP).

  • The NOCD app (more info here) is a free, easy to use, accessible support for managing and challenging OCD on a daily basis.

Borderline Personality Disorder:

Despite societal beliefs, research has shown Borderline Personality Disorder can be successfully managed or treated. Sometimes patients can even go into remission! The first line of treatment for BPD is Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT). Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a therapy aimed at helping patients process and overcome trauma, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) can also be helpful in BPD treatment.

  • This book is a clear and helpful guide through the different modules of DBT.
  • I have written about a DBT skill (opposite action) that I find helpful here.
  • I have written about the importance of validation and self-validation here.
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