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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Brief intervention talking therapies

Ratonga Whakamāherehere Takawaenga Poto

Brief intervention talking therapists (BIS therapists) are registered mental health professionals. They are from a variety of backgrounds and have had specific training in talking therapy.

Talking therapy can help you with low mood, anxiety, alcohol or substance abuse. It can also help with other mental health issues.

There is no charge for this service, but you must first get a referral from a general practice team. If you meet the criteria, you can receive up to five funded therapy sessions with a BIS therapist in your area.

The BIS therapist can give you therapy, advice and assessment. They can also refer you to other agencies once their sessions have finished. BIS therapists can normally see people in the community and often at their general practice.

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

To see if you qualify for the funded sessions, your general practice team may ask you to fill in a short questionnaire. They will then use this to work out a score.

Your score might be lower than the level needed for a referral to a BIS therapist. If so, your general practice team will recommend other options for counselling. They will also suggest community agencies that may be able to offer support.

BIS therapists are available in rural Canterbury as well as in Christchurch.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed November 2023.

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Page reference: 134131

Review key: HIHMI-138165