what to do in crisis

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Resources for Living Well

Support groups & services

There are many support groups and services available for people experiencing psychosis. Here you can find what services are available in your local area.

Explore and compare different medications below so you and your healthcare team can decide which medication is best for you.

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Amisulpride

Solian, Solprix
Rare
Common
Drowsiness, lethargy
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Increased appetite, weight gain
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Stiff or shaky muscles
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Restlessness
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Dry mouth, constipation, blurred vision
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Dizziness
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Hormonal side effects
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Flip to show summary

Amisulpride

Solian, Solprix
🏃
Supports motivation/interests
⚖️
Low risk of weight gain

Amisulpride carries a higher risk of hormonal side effects, especially in younger people, so it can be harder to use this medicine in adolescents and young adults. Amisulpride is sometimes used in combination with other antipsychotics such as clozapine.

Flip to show side effects

Aripiprazole

Abilify, Aripiprazole generic health
Rare
Common
Drowsiness, lethargy
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Increased appetite, weight gain
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Stiff or shaky muscles
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Restlessness
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Dry mouth, constipation, blurred vision
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Dizziness
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Hormonal side effects
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Flip to show summary

Aripiprazole

Abilify, Aripiprazole generic health
Not sedating, increased alertness
⚖️
Very low risk of weight gain
😀
Supports positive mood

Aripiprazole carries a very low risk of weight gain and hormonal side effects. Sometimes it is even used to manage these side effects caused by other antipsychotics. It can help people feel more alert, which may be a good thing, but can also make falling asleep difficult. Restlessness can also be a problem, especially in the first few weeks after starting aripiprazole but it improves with time for most people.

Flip to show side effects

Chlorpromazine

Largactil
Rare
Common
Drowsiness, lethargy
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Increased appetite, weight gain
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Issues with movement
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Restlessness
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Dry mouth, constipation, blurred vision
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Dizziness
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Hormonal side effects
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Flip to show summary

Chlorpromazine

Largactil
😌
Calming
😴
Helps with falling asleep

Chlorpromazine is the oldest antipsychotic. It was discovered in 1950 by accident during a search for new antihistamines (medicines for allergy). It is usually quite sedating, which can be helpful for sleep and calming effects - but not so good if this affects daily activities. It may cause dizziness and hormonal side effects.

Flip to show side effects

Clozapine

Clopine, Clozaril
Rare
Common
Drowsiness, lethargy
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Increased appetite, weight gain
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Issues with movement
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Restlessness
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Dry mouth, constipation, blurred vision
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Dizziness
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Hormonal side effects
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Flip to show summary

Clozapine

Clopine, Clozaril
😀
Supports positive mood
🏃
Supports motivation/interests
😌
Calming

Clozapine is very effective in treating psychosis for people who don't respond well to other antipsychotics. It is also the only antipsychotic proven to reduce the risk of self-harm. It tends to have more side effects than others including weight gain, sedation, constipation, too much saliva (spit) production and low white blood cells. Careful monitoring is needed including regular blood tests for the whole time a person takes clozapine.

Flip to show side effects

Flupenthixol

Fluanxol
Rare
Common
Drowsiness, lethargy
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Increased appetite, weight gain
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Issues with movement
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Restlessness
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Dry mouth, constipation, blurred vision
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Dizziness
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Hormonal side effects
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Flip to show summary

Flupenthixol

Fluanxol
🕗
Available as long action injection

Flupenthixol is an older antipsychotic, only available as a long acting injection (also known as a depot) in New Zealand. It was also used as a treatment for depression back in the 70’s and 80’s. Movement side effects and hormonal side effects are common with this medicine.

Flip to show side effects

Haloperidol

Serenace, Haldol
Rare
Common
Drowsiness, lethargy
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Increased appetite, weight gain
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Issues with movement
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Restlessness
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Dry mouth, constipation, blurred vision
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Dizziness
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Hormonal side effects
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Flip to show summary

Haloperidol

Serenace, Haldol
Less sedating, increased alertness
🕗
Available as long action injection

Haloperidol is an older antipsychotic that is sometimes used as a short term treatment when people are distressed or agitated in hospital. It can also be used over a longer period of time as tablets, liquid or a long acting injection. Common side effects include muscle stiffness and restlessness. It doesn’t help much with motivation, focus and attention, and might actually make these worse in some people if the dose is too high.

Flip to show side effects

Olanzapine

Zyprexa, Olanzapine-DRLA, Olanzine, Zypine
Rare
Common
Drowsiness, lethargy
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Increased appetite, weight gain
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Issues with movement
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Restlessness
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Dry mouth, constipation, blurred vision
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Dizziness
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Hormonal side effects
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Flip to show summary

Olanzapine

Zyprexa, Olanzapine-DRLA, Olanzine, Zypine
😀
Supports positive mood
🏃
Supports motivation/interests
😌
Calming

Olanzapine is often used for its calming effects when a person is distressed. It is available in tablets and a long acting injection. It seems to be slightly more effective than other antipsychotics (except clozapine). A lot of people find olanzapine makes them really hungry, which can lead to weight gain.

Flip to show side effects

Paliperidone

Invega, Invega Sustenna
Rare
Common
Drowsiness, lethargy
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Increased appetite, weight gain
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Issues with movement
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Restlessness
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Dry mouth, constipation, blurred vision
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Dizziness
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Hormonal side effects
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Flip to show summary

Paliperidone

Invega, Invega Sustenna
🏃
Supports motivation/interests
🕗
Available as long acting injection

Paliperidone is only available as a long acting monthly injection. It tends to cause less sleepiness than some of the other antipsychotics. However, movement and hormonal side effects are more common.

Flip to show side effects

Pericyazine

Neulactil
Rare
Common
Drowsiness, lethargy
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Increased appetite, weight gain
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Issues with movement
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Restlessness
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Dry mouth, constipation, blurred vision
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Dizziness
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Hormonal side effects
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Flip to show summary

Pericyazine

Neulactil
😌
Calming
😴
Helps with falling asleep

Pericyazine is an older medicine not used very much for psychosis anymore - other medicines are usually preferred. Like all older antipsychotics, it can cause movement and hormonal side effects. Weight gain and drowsiness are also quite common.

Flip to show side effects

Quetiapine

Quetapel, Auro-Quetiapine, DP-Quetiapine, Quetiapine-DRLA, Seroquel
Rare
Common
Drowsiness, lethargy
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Increased appetite, weight gain
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Issues with movement
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Restlessness
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Dry mouth, constipation, blurred vision
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Dizziness
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Hormonal side effects
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Flip to show summary

Quetiapine

Quetapel, Auro-Quetiapine, DP-Quetiapine, Quetiapine-DRLA, Seroquel
😀
Supports positive mood
🏃
Supports motivation/interests
😌
Calming

Quetiapine has some antidepressant effects, so might be good for people experiencing psychosis who also have a low mood or depression. It has a very low risk of movement and hormonal side effects, but often causes increased appetite and weight gain.

Flip to show side effects

Risperidone

Risperon, Risperdal, Risperidone (Actavis), Ridal, Risperdal, Risperidone (Arrow), Risperidone-DRLA
Rare
Common
Drowsiness, lethargy
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Increased appetite, weight gain
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Issues with movement
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Restlessness
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Dry mouth, constipation, blurred vision
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Dizziness
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Hormonal side effects
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Flip to show summary

Risperidone

Risperon, Risperdal, Risperidone (Actavis), Ridal, Risperdal, Risperidone (Arrow), Risperidone-DRLA
🏃
Supports motivation/interests
🕗
Available as long acting injection

Risperidone is available as tablets, liquid and a fortnightly long acting injection. It tends to cause less drowsiness than some other antipsychotics but movement and hormonal side effects are more common.

Flip to show side effects

Ziprasidone

Zusdone, Zeldox
Rare
Common
Drowsiness, lethargy
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Increased appetite, weight gain
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Issues with movement
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Restlessness
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Dry mouth, constipation, blurred vision
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Dizziness
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Hormonal side effects
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Flip to show summary

Ziprasidone

Zusdone, Zeldox
🏃
Supports motivation/interests
⚖️
Low risk of weight gain

Ziprasidone causes less weight gain, sedation and movement and hormonal side effects than some other antipsychotics. It may even increase alertness in some people, especially at lower doses. It is more likely to cause irregular heartbeat than many other antipsychotics so a doctor or nurse may check this at the start of treatment.

Flip to show side effects

Zuclopenthixol

Clopixol
Rare
Common
Drowsiness, lethargy
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Increased appetite, weight gain
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Issues with movement
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Restlessness
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Dry mouth, constipation, blurred vision
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Dizziness
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Hormonal side effects
Is it unclear how many people experience this
Flip to show summary

Zuclopenthixol

Clopixol
😌
Calming
😴
Helps with falling asleep
🕗
Available as long acting injection

Zuclopenthixol is an older antipsychotic, which is available as tablets and long acting injection. It tends to be sedating and calming and can help reduce aggression and agitation. As with the other older antipsychotics, movement and hormonal side effects are quite common.

Flip to show side effects
Medication information was compiled from the following sources:
Bazire S. Psychotropic Drug Directory 2016: The Professionals' Pocket Handbook and Aide Memoire: Lloyd-Reinhold Publications Limited; 2016.

Galletly C, Castle D, Dark F, Humberstone V, Jablensky A, Killackey E, et al. Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists clinical practice guidelines for the management of schizophrenia and related disorders. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 2016;50(5):410-72.

Haddad PM, Sharma SG. Adverse effects of atypical antipsychotics : differential risk and clinical implications. CNS drugs. 2007;21(11):911-36.

Jibson MD. Second-generation antipsychotic medications: Pharmacology, administration, and side effects. 2017 [last update May 15, 2017] In: UpToDate [Internet]. [cited 2 November 2017]. Available from: https://www.uptodate.com/contents/second-generation-antipsychotic-medications-pharmacology-administration-and-side-effects

Leucht S, Cipriani A, Spineli L, Mavridis D, Orey D, Richter F, et al. Comparative efficacy and tolerability of 15 antipsychotic drugs in schizophrenia: a multiple-treatments meta-analysis.
Lancet (London, England). 2013;382(9896):951-62.

Leucht S, Tardy M, Komossa K, Heres S, Kissling W, Salanti G, et al. Antipsychotic drugs versus placebo for relapse prevention in schizophrenia: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Lancet. 2012;379(9831):2063-71.

Marder S, Stroup T. Pharmacotherapy for schizophrenia: Side effect management. 2017 [last update Dec 01, 2016] In: UpToDate [Internet]. [cited 2 November 2017]. Available from: https://www.uptodate.com/contents/pharmacotherapy-for-schizophrenia-side-effect-management

New Zealand Formulary (NZF). NZF v[64] [Internet]. 2017. Available from: www.nzf.org.nz [accessed 02 November 2017].

Robinson DG, Gallego JA, John M, Petrides G, Hassoun Y, Zhang JP, et al. A Randomized Comparison of Aripiprazole and Risperidone for the Acute Treatment of First-Episode Schizophrenia and Related Disorders: 3-Month Outcomes. Schizophrenia bulletin. 2015;41(6):1227-36.

Stahl SM. Stahl's Essential Psychopharmacology : Neuroscientific Basis and Practical Application. 4th ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2013.

Stahl SM. Stahl's Essential Psychopharmacology: The Prescriber's Guide. 6th ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2017.

Taylor D, Paton C, Kapur S. The Maudsley prescribing guidelines in psychiatry. Twelfth edition. West Sussex, England : Wiley Blackwell. 2015.

Zhu Y, Li C, Huhn M, Rothe P, Krause M, Bighelli I, et al. How well do patients with a first episode of schizophrenia respond to antipsychotics: A systematic review and meta-analysis. European Neuropsychopharmacology. 2017;27(9):835-44.

Like any other medication, antipsychotics can cause side effects. While side effects may seem scary, they can be managed. Overall, the benefits of antipsychotics outweigh the downsides for most people.

Common side effects

Support groups in New Zealand

In a support group, members provide each other with various types of help, usually nonprofessional, through sharing personal experiences, listening to and accepting others' experiences, providing sympathetic understanding and establishing social networks. Below is a list of some support groups in New Zealand.

Drowsiness, lethargy
What is it?

Feeling sleepy, lazy or lacking energy

What to do about it

Take the medication at night, develop a good routine for sleep and avoid napping during the day.  Try to increase physical activity during the day and get outside for some sunlight and fresh air. Drowsiness is more common when the dose is increased quickly. Reducing the dose and then increasing it more slowly can minimise this side effect. Drowsiness usually improves with time as people become ‘tolerant’ to the sedating effects. It’s important not to drive until drowsiness has resolved.

Antipsychotics can be used in higher doses when people are agitated or distressed. High doses can make some people feel quite sleepy or 'drugged up', which is why high doses should usually only be used for a short time until the person starts feeling better.

Increased appetite, weight gain
What is it?

Eating more and putting on weight

What to do about it

Weight gain seems to be related to increased appetite rather than directly slowing down metabolism. Weight gain can lead to health problems such as an increased risk of diabetes, heart attacks and strokes.

Stick to a healthy diet including lots of fruits and vegetables. Try to exercise regularly.  It can be difficult trying to fit exercise in but it can be as simple as doing more walking. Try to avoid fatty and sugary foods like chips, pies, lollies and chocolate. Drink plenty of fluid and keep sugary drinks like fizzy drinks and fruit juices to special occasions. Water is best and it’s free! Ask a member of your care team to see a dietician if you need help with food choices.

Movement side effects
What is it?
  • Feeling shaky, having a tremor or a ‘tick’ that people feel they can’t control
  • Slowed down movements
  • Stiff muscles
  • Sudden muscle cramps
  • A person’s neck may twist back
  • A person’s eyes and tongue may move on their own
What to do about it

These are not usually dangerous but if they are severe or worrying the person they should discuss it with their care team. Reducing the dose or changing to another antipsychotic can help. Medication is also available to treat this side effect, such as benztropine and procyclidine.

Restlessness
What is it?

Feeling uncomfortable and restless. Some people feel like they can’t keep still

What to do about it

This can improve with time but some people find it very unpleasant. If this is the case it should be discussed with the care team. Reducing the dose or changing to another antipsychotic can help. Medication can also be added to reduce the feeling of restlessness.

Dry Mouth
What is it?

A person’s mouth may feel dry and they may not produce much saliva (spit)

What to do about it

Drink plenty of water. Try carrying a drink bottle and having small sips often. Chewing sugarfree gum or sucking ice cubes in summer can help. Sprays, gels and mouthwashes for dry mouth are available from pharmacies. If nothing seems to help then a change in medication or dose might be needed.

Blurred vision
What is it?

Things look fuzzy or it is difficult to focus the eyes properly

What to do about it

This usually improves with time and doesn’t mean the person will need glasses. It should be discussed with the doctor or care team. It’s important not to drive until vision has gone back to normal.

Constipation
What is it?
  • Having difficulty passing a stool (poo), or going less often than usual
  • Feeling ‘bunged up’.
  • Sometimes there is loss of appetite, stomach pain, bloating or feeling sick.
  • Diarrhoea can also be a sign of constipation. If a hard mass of stool is blocking the bowel then small amounts of liquid stool may be passed.
What to do about it

Eat a high fibre diet including lots of fruits, vegetables and wholegrains. Drink at least 6-8 glasses of water a day. Doing more exercise such as walking can help to keep the bowels moving regularly.  If nothing seems to help or if the constipation is severe, then laxatives (medicines used to relieve and/or prevent constipation) may be needed. They can be bought from the pharmacy or supermarket, but it is often better to go through your doctor as they are cheaper on a prescription.

For people taking the antipsychotic clozapine, constipation can be serious and needs to be treated quickly. People taking clozapine should have a plan for managing constipation agreed in advance. If constipation has gone on longer than 2 days they should contact their care team urgently.

Dizziness, lightheadedness
What is it?

Feeling dizzy, woozy, faint, or like the room is spinning

What to do about it

Dizziness is more common when starting a medicine or after a dose increase and can improve with time. Increasing the dose more slowly can minimise this side effect. It’s important not to drive until dizziness has resolved. A change in medication or dose might be needed if dizziness is severe or doesn’t seem to be getting better.

Hormonal side effects
What are they?

Side effects that are caused by high prolactin levels. Prolactin is a hormone that is normally present in the body in both men and women but at a lower level. Prolactin levels increase during pregnancy and breastfeeding in women because this helps with breast milk production. Antipsychotics can increase prolactin above the usual level when it is not needed. 

The number and type of side effects a person gets from having high prolactin levels depends on a number of things. These include how high the prolactin level is, whether they are male or female and how sensitive the individual person is to having high prolactin. Common side effects can happen when prolactin is only slightly higher than the usual range. Less common and rare side effects usually only happen when the prolactin is much higher than the usual range.

Common

Sexual dysfunction - this can include losing interest in sex (low libido), difficulty getting or maintaining erection for men or difficulty having an orgasm

Less common

Changes in the menstrual cycle for women - periods can become irregular or stop altogether

Increased growth of body hair in women (hirsutism)

Swollen breast tissue, breast tenderness or breast growth - This can happen to both men and women

Rare

Milk production - people may notice milk coming out of their breasts (this can happen to both men and women)

What to do about it

These side effects can seem concerning but they are fully reversible and will go away with a change in treatment. People who have any of the side effects associated with high prolactin levels should talk to their care team – they can do a simple blood test to check the prolactin level. Medication may need to be changed or the dose reduced. Sometimes another medicine can be added to manage this side effect.

High cholesterol or blood sugar
What is it?

Cholesterol and triglycerides are types of fat (lipid) in the blood. High blood sugar is also known as increased blood glucose. These will show up in blood test results. Over time, these side effects can put people at an increased risk of developing heart disease and diabetes.

What to do about it

Preventing these side effects with a healthy lifestyle is the best way to manage them. This includes eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.

It is also important to see the care team or family doctor (GP) for a physical health check-up. They will monitor any changes in a person’s weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. This should happen at least once per year but might be more often after starting or changing medication, or when blood results show high cholesterol or blood sugar.

Rare side effects

Palpitations
What is it?

A fast or irregular heartbeat 

What to do about it

Contact the doctor or care team. This is not usually dangerous but the team might want to look into it further.

Skin rashes
What is it?

Blotches or marks seen anywhere on the skin 

What to do about it

Contact your doctor immediately

Urinary retention
What is it?

Difficulty in passing urine (peeing) or not much urine passed

What to do about it

Contact the doctor immediately

NMS (Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome)
What is it?

Signs and symptoms of NMS include confusion, a high body temperature (fever), sweating, very stiff or rigid muscles, and a fast heartbeat. The risk of NMS is increased in some situations such as taking high doses of antipsychotics, more than one antipsychotic or after a big dose increase. Having certain medical conditions can also increase the risk.

What to do about it

Contact a doctor immediately. A doctor will be able to tell whether the symptoms are likely to be NMS. An admission to hospital might be needed until the person recovers.

Medication information on this page was compiled from the following sources:
Haddad PM, Sharma SG. Adverse effects of atypical antipsychotics : differential risk and clinical implications. CNS drugs. 2007;21(11):911-36.
New Zealand Formulary (NZF). NZF v[64] [Internet]. 2017. Available from: www.nzf.org.nz [accessed 02 November 2017].
Robinson DG, Gallego JA, John M, Petrides G, Hassoun Y, Zhang JP, et al. A Randomized Comparison of Aripiprazole and Risperidone for the Acute Treatment of First-Episode Schizophrenia and Related Disorders: 3-Month Outcomes. Schizophrenia bulletin. 2015;41(6):1227-36.
Taylor D, Paton C, Kapur S. The Maudsley prescribing guidelines in psychiatry. Twelfth edition. ed: West Sussex, England : Wiley Blackwell. 2015.
Bazire S. Psychotropic Drug Directory 2016: The Professionals' Pocket Handbook and Aide Memoire: Lloyd-Reinhold Publications Limited; 2016.
Leucht S, Cipriani A, Spineli L, Mavridis D, Orey D, Richter F, et al. Comparative efficacy and tolerability of 15 antipsychotic drugs in schizophrenia: a multiple-treatments meta-analysis. Lancet (London, England). 2013;382(9896):951-62.
Jibson MD. Up to date. Second-generation antipsychotic medications: Pharmacology, administration, and side effects. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/second-generation-antipsychotic-medications-pharmacology-administration-and-side-effect
Jibson MD. Second-generation antipsychotic medications: pharmacology, administration, and side effects. Marder S, ed. UpToDate. Waltham, MA: UpToDate Inc. http://www.uptodate.com [accessed 02 November 2017]
Marder S, Stroup TS. Pharmacotherapy for schizophrenia: Side effect management. Stein MB, ed. UpToDate. Waltham, MA: UpToDate Inc. http://www.uptodate.com [accessed 02 November 2017]
Stahl SM. Stahl's Essential Psychopharmacology : Neuroscientific Basis and Practical Application. 4th ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2013.
Stahl SM. Stahl's Essential Psychopharmacology: The Prescriber's Guide. 6th ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2017

Community support services in New Zealand

Below is a list of community-based organisations that provide all sorts of services to support a person emotionally and practically through getting better and continuing to live well in their community. These services can range from such things as helping a person through counselling and developing practical life skills, to helping them to find housing or to find and maintain employment whilst developing a career.

Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand

Provides free information and training, and advocates for policies and services that support people with experience of mental illness, and also their families/whānau and friends.

Early Intervention in Psychosis support services (EIS)

Early Intervention for psychosis are services provided by District Health Boards (DHBs) that aim to help young people when they experience psychosis for the first time.

Emerge Aotearoa

Emerge Aotearoa provides a wide range of community-based mental health, addiction, disability support and social housing services nationwide.

Pathways

Pathways provides a range of support services around practical daily living, leading a healthy life, employment and housing.

Culture-specific support services

Bo Ai She: Asian Family Services

Bo Ai She provide cultural support and recovery support for Asian users of mental health services and their families. They run workshops and activities for the group members. 

Le Va Pasifika support services

They work alongside the services and people who deliver mental health, addiction, public health, suicide prevention and general health and wellbeing services to support Pasifika communities.

Māori cultural assessment and support services

Māori mental health programmes have a whānau/family focus and are based on Māori cultural values, customs and beliefs.

Vaka Tautua support for Pasifika

Vaka Tautua is a national “by Pacific for Pacific” health support service provider. They offer a mental health community support service, underpinned by the POPAO model (a Pacific recovery and strength concept) that is central to the recovery of service users by empowering them through their journey towards recovery.

Arahura Charitable Trust – Auckland City

Arahura Charitable Trust currently provide residential housing and support and a day service (Crossroads Clubhouse).

Edge Employment – Auckland

Provide help with finding employment. They offer ongoing support, with assistance on and off the job to remain successfully employed.

Equip – Auckland

A mental health organisation, an extension of Windsor Park Church, that provides an innovative model of care, effective support and education in the greater Auckland region. Their support workers work closely with clinical key worker and/or whānau family where appropriate. They also offer dietician, housing and spiritual support, as well as support for families/whānau.

Framework – Auckland

Framework works alongside clients and their family/whānau to live high quality lives. This can include getting mental health consumers back into employment, connecting with their community in jobs and housing of their choice.

Kāhui Tū Kaha – Central and South Auckland

Kāhui Tū Kaha (formerly Affinity Services) provide the following:

  • Consumer leadership & advocacy to Auckland DHB Mental Health & Addiction Services
  • ‍Housing services for youth needing supported living arrangements
  • ‍Recovery support to people who have experienced mental illness and who are living in the community
  • ‍Respite & residential mental health services Individual support, group education and organisational certification on the needs of people coming from Rainbow or LGBTTI communities (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Takatāpui, Intersex)
Muslim Wellbeing Team – Auckland

Affinity’s Muslim Mental Health Liaison Team works in collaboration with Auckland’s Muslim community to raise mental health awareness and increase access to mainstream mental health services.

Walsh Trust – Waitakere
  • Mobile community support
  • Group workshops and outdoor programs to enhance people’s life skills
  • Peer support
  • Help with employment and housing
Connect Supporting Recovery – Auckland and Hamilton

Connect offers a wide range of services to people experiencing mental health and addictions issues including attaining goals in employment and accommodation.

Mash Trust – MidCentral and Whanganui

MASH provides a wide range of support services for people with mental health, intellectual or physical disability or illness, alcohol and addiction and youth respite care for people who require support in their own homes, or in the community.

PROP - Support for Mental Health Carers – Waikato

PROP provide support for those who care for someone with mental health conditions or alcohol and drug addictions.

Comcare Trust – Canterbury region
  • Peer support
  • Housing facilitation and emergency housing services
  • Pre-employment support and supported employment
  • Ongoing support and guidance with life skills e.g. (budgeting, leisure/recreation, social skills, communication, conflict resolution)
Stepping Stone Trust – Canterbury region
  • Youth residential and youth respite services
  • Youth Mobile - an intensive support option, with staff visiting young people in their own homes as frequently as required, with daily visits an option in times of crisis
  • Youth community support work
  • Mobile medication services
Pukeko Blue Ltd. – Christchurch

Pukeko Blue has 14 community houses accommodating people with mental health, intellectual and physical disabilities. All houses are staffed 24 hours a day with a registered nurse visiting daily and available on call 24/7.

Support groups in New Zealand

In a support group, members provide each other with various types of help, usually nonprofessional, through sharing personal experiences, listening to and accepting others' experiences, providing sympathetic understanding and establishing social networks. Below is a list of some support groups in New Zealand.

Big White Wall

A clinically supported, professionally facilitated, self-managed, peer support community of people who are experiencing common mental health issues who are supported to self-manage their own mental health. Members are able to engage anonymously one on one, in groups or the wider membership, express themselves creatively, gain knowledge and self-awareness through available information resources.

Balance NZ

A well-established national bipolar and depression support network, including resources and online forums.

Big Black Dog message board & chat room

A NZ-run mental health peer support group available to all, online 24/7. The message board is moderated and has become a safe haven for many who previously felt they had no voice.

Hearing Voices Network Aotearoa NZ

Support groups usually run by volunteers. They also have a facebook group where people can join in and chat.

GROW

GROW offers a supportive environment to help those who struggle to live well in the world. They are a community mental health movement with groups suitable for people recovering from mental illness, anyone suffering a crisis, and for those who need support to self-manage their daily lives. No referrals are required, no fees are charged, however a small donation to meet group expenses is usual and voluntary.

Papatoetoe Hearing Voices Support Group – Auckland

Tuesdays, 2pm – 3pm | Address: 54 Carruth Road, Papatoetoe 2025 | Phone: 09 279 8233 | Email: whariki@emergeaotearoa.org.nz

Toi Ora Live Art Trust – Auckland

Toi Ora is an art organisation that provides innovation and leadership in the field of creativity in mental health recovery. They provide a variety of arts, creative writing, music and recording classes and workshops, that are tutored by professional practitioners with experience and/or an understanding of the issues surrounding mental health.

Promoting Mental Wellness – Waikato

This group exists to educate, promote, support and organise mental wellbeing initiatives to benefit the lives of people in the community. It uses self-help principles and operates from a recovery and strengths-based focus. Located in Hamilton East.

Bipolar Support at MHAPS – Christchurch

A service that provides support to people whose lives are affected by bipolar disorder and they are part of a larger organisation called MHAPS which stands for Mental Health Advocacy and Peer Support. The Bipolar Support team offers peer support to friends and family members as well as those directly affected by bipolar. This can be one to one or in groups. They also provide information and run education sessions.

Otago Mental Health Support Trust

A service that provides support for adults with experience of mental distress. They have traditionally supported people with bipolar disorder and continue to do so. They offer peer support, advocacy, education and information.

Otago’s Supported Volunteering Programme

They support people in the recovery phase to explore volunteering as a means of re-establishing routines, goals and social connection.

Community support services in New Zealand

Below is a list of community-based organisations that provide all sorts of services to support a person emotionally and practically through getting better and continuing to live well in their community. These services can range from such things as helping a person through counselling and developing practical life skills, to helping them to find housing or to find and maintain employment whilst developing a career.

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Support groups in New Zealand

In a support group, members provide each other with various types of help, usually nonprofessional, through sharing personal experiences, listening to and accepting others' experiences, providing sympathetic understanding and establishing social networks. Below is a list of some support groups in New Zealand.

Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand

Provides free information and training, and advocates for policies and services that support people with experience of mental illness, and also their families/whānau and friends.

Early Intervention in Psychosis support services (EIS)

Early Intervention for psychosis are services provided by District Health Boards (DHBs) that aim to help young people when they experience psychosis for the first time.

Emerge Aotearoa

Emerge Aotearoa provides a wide range of community-based mental health, addiction, disability support and social housing services nationwide.

Pathways

Pathways provides a range of support services around practical daily living, leading a healthy life, employment and housing.

Culture-specific support services

Bo Ai She: Asian Family Services

Bo Ai She provide cultural support and recovery support for Asian users of mental health services and their families. They run workshops and activities for the group members. 

Le Va Pasifika support services

They work alongside the services and people who deliver mental health, addiction, public health, suicide prevention and general health and wellbeing services to support Pasifika communities.

Māori cultural assessment and support services

Māori mental health programmes have a whānau/family focus and are based on Māori cultural values, customs and beliefs.

Vaka Tautua support for Pasifika

Vaka Tautua is a national “by Pacific for Pacific” health support service provider. They offer a mental health community support service, underpinned by the POPAO model (a Pacific recovery and strength concept) that is central to the recovery of service users by empowering them through their journey towards recovery.

Arahura Charitable Trust – Auckland City

Arahura Charitable Trust currently provide residential housing and support and a day service (Crossroads Clubhouse).

Edge Employment – Auckland

Provide help with finding employment. They offer ongoing support, with assistance on and off the job to remain successfully employed.

Equip – Auckland

A mental health organisation, an extension of Windsor Park Church, that provides an innovative model of care, effective support and education in the greater Auckland region. Their support workers work closely with clinical key worker and/or whānau family where appropriate. They also offer dietician, housing and spiritual support, as well as support for families/whānau.

Framework – Auckland

Framework works alongside clients and their family/whānau to live high quality lives. This can include getting mental health consumers back into employment, connecting with their community in jobs and housing of their choice.

Kāhui Tū Kaha – Central and South Auckland

Kāhui Tū Kaha (formerly Affinity Services) provide the following:

  • Consumer leadership & advocacy to Auckland DHB Mental Health & Addiction Services
  • ‍Housing services for youth needing supported living arrangements
  • ‍Recovery support to people who have experienced mental illness and who are living in the community
  • ‍Respite & residential mental health services Individual support, group education and organisational certification on the needs of people coming from Rainbow or LGBTTI communities (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Takatāpui, Intersex)
Muslim Wellbeing Team – Auckland

Affinity’s Muslim Mental Health Liaison Team works in collaboration with Auckland’s Muslim community to raise mental health awareness and increase access to mainstream mental health services.

Walsh Trust – Waitakere
  • Mobile community support
  • Group workshops and outdoor programs to enhance people’s life skills
  • Peer support
  • Help with employment and housing
Connect Supporting Recovery – Auckland and Hamilton

Connect offers a wide range of services to people experiencing mental health and addictions issues including attaining goals in employment and accommodation.

Mash Trust – MidCentral and Whanganui

MASH provides a wide range of support services for people with mental health, intellectual or physical disability or illness, alcohol and addiction and youth respite care for people who require support in their own homes, or in the community.

PROP - Support for Mental Health Carers – Waikato

PROP provide support for those who care for someone with mental health conditions or alcohol and drug addictions.

Comcare Trust – Canterbury region
  • Peer support
  • Housing facilitation and emergency housing services
  • Pre-employment support and supported employment
  • Ongoing support and guidance with life skills e.g. (budgeting, leisure/recreation, social skills, communication, conflict resolution)
Stepping Stone Trust – Canterbury region
  • Youth residential and youth respite services
  • Youth Mobile - an intensive support option, with staff visiting young people in their own homes as frequently as required, with daily visits an option in times of crisis
  • Youth community support work
  • Mobile medication services
Pukeko Blue Ltd. – Christchurch

Pukeko Blue has 14 community houses accommodating people with mental health, intellectual and physical disabilities. All houses are staffed 24 hours a day with a registered nurse visiting daily and available on call 24/7.

Big White Wall

A clinically supported, professionally facilitated, self-managed, peer support community of people who are experiencing common mental health issues who are supported to self-manage their own mental health. Members are able to engage anonymously one on one, in groups or the wider membership, express themselves creatively, gain knowledge and self-awareness through available information resources.

Balance NZ

A well-established national bipolar and depression support network, including resources and online forums.

Big Black Dog message board & chat room

A NZ-run mental health peer support group available to all, online 24/7. The message board is moderated and has become a safe haven for many who previously felt they had no voice.

Hearing Voices Network Aotearoa NZ

Support groups usually run by volunteers. They also have a facebook group where people can join in and chat.

GROW

GROW offers a supportive environment to help those who struggle to live well in the world. They are a community mental health movement with groups suitable for people recovering from mental illness, anyone suffering a crisis, and for those who need support to self-manage their daily lives. No referrals are required, no fees are charged, however a small donation to meet group expenses is usual and voluntary.

Papatoetoe Hearing Voices Support Group – Auckland

Tuesdays, 2pm – 3pm | Address: 54 Carruth Road, Papatoetoe 2025 | Phone: 09 279 8233 | Email: whariki@emergeaotearoa.org.nz

Toi Ora Live Art Trust – Auckland

Toi Ora is an art organisation that provides innovation and leadership in the field of creativity in mental health recovery. They provide a variety of arts, creative writing, music and recording classes and workshops, that are tutored by professional practitioners with experience and/or an understanding of the issues surrounding mental health.

Promoting Mental Wellness – Waikato

This group exists to educate, promote, support and organise mental wellbeing initiatives to benefit the lives of people in the community. It uses self-help principles and operates from a recovery and strengths-based focus. Located in Hamilton East.

Bipolar Support at MHAPS – Christchurch

A service that provides support to people whose lives are affected by bipolar disorder and they are part of a larger organisation called MHAPS which stands for Mental Health Advocacy and Peer Support. The Bipolar Support team offers peer support to friends and family members as well as those directly affected by bipolar. This can be one to one or in groups. They also provide information and run education sessions.

Otago Mental Health Support Trust

A service that provides support for adults with experience of mental distress. They have traditionally supported people with bipolar disorder and continue to do so. They offer peer support, advocacy, education and information.

Otago’s Supported Volunteering Programme

They support people in the recovery phase to explore volunteering as a means of re-establishing routines, goals and social connection.

Health professionals