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HealthInfo Canterbury

Brief intervention counselling (BIC)

Brief intervention counselling (BIC) clinicians are registered mental health professionals from a variety of backgrounds, who have had specific training as brief intervention counsellors and coordinators.

A BIC clinician can help you with low mood, anxiety, alcohol or substance abuse, and other mental health issues.

There is no charge to see a BIC clinician, but you must first get a referral from a GP. If you meet the criteria for referral you can receive up to five funded therapy sessions with a BIC clinician in your area.

The BIC clinician can give you therapy, advice and assessment. They can also refer you to other agencies once their sessions have finished. BIC clinicians can normally see patients in the community and often in their GP clinic.

You may have to wait a few weeks before a BIC clinician can see you. If you need more urgent help, you can call 0800‑920‑092.

To assess if you qualify for the funded sessions, your GP may ask you to fill in a short questionnaire and use this to work out a score. If your score is lower than the level needed for a referral to a BIC clinician, your GP will recommend other options for counselling. Your GP will also suggest community agencies that may be able to offer support.

BIC clinicians are available in rural Canterbury as well as in Christchurch.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Updated May 2016.

Page reference: 134131

Review key: HIHMI-138165