Print this topic

HealthInfo Canterbury

Getting help with anxiety

If self-help techniques and lifestyle changes alone haven't helped you feel better, look for support from a health professional.

Start by talking to your GP, practice nurse or other health professional about how you're feeling. They can help with treatment ideas and options to best suit you.

Often, a combination of treatments with self-help and lifestyle changes work best.

Online therapy

Consider doing an online course. This can help you understand your illness and give you options to try to reduce your anxiety.

Talk therapy (psychological treatments)

Talking therapies help with anxiety in all age groups. They help you find new ways to think about events in your life and are very effective at treating anxiety.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is one type of talking therapy that's commonly used. It aims to teach you to think differently so you can respond in a better way to anxiety.

A psychologist, counsellor or BIS worker can provide talking therapy and emotional support.

Your GP can help you find a therapist or refer you for some free counselling. You can find a counsellor, therapist or psychiatrist in the Family Services Directory. The Mental Health Education and Resource Centre (MHERC) can also help. Some therapy options will cost but your GP can talk through the approximate cost with you.



Medication is used to help some people with anxiety. It's best used with other treatments such as talking therapies or self-help courses which can help make long-lasting changes.

Specialist therapists

A community support worker can help you with many difficulties you might be having in day-to-day life. These can include managing household tasks, finances and relationships.

Other health professionals can help with mental health including physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dietitians and chiropractors.

Canterbury DHB Specialist Mental Health Services (including the Anxiety Disorders Outpatient Unit)

Canterbury DHB's Specialist Mental Health Service is the major provider of mental health services in Canterbury. You'll need a referral from your GP to see the Anxiety Disorders Team, which is for people with severe anxiety problems.

Community support groups

In Canterbury, you can find a support group by contacting one of the following groups:

  HealthInfo recommends the following videos

  HealthInfo recommends the following pages

On the next page: Supporting someone with anxiety

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed April 2020.

See also:

Medications for mental health issues

Reading in Mind book scheme

Relaxation techniques

Page reference: 50600

Review key: HIAXA-50595