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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Getting help with psychosis

Whai āwhina mō te heaheatanga

Therapy groupThe treatment for a psychotic disorder aims to bring back your normal feeling of reality so you can manage your daily life again. It's usually started by a specialist mental health service, though you may get ongoing care from your general practice team.


Many people with psychosis need to take antipsychotic medication to feel better.

Some people will need to keep taking it after they have improved to stay well.

The type of medication and how long you need to take it varies with each individual and their particular type of psychosis.

Talking Minds has a detailed section that explains the need for medications and how they work and addresses any concerns you may have about taking them. You can find out more about the medicines you're taking in Medications for mental health issues.

Talk therapies

Talking therapies have an important role in treating psychosis and the effects it can have on your life.

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

Your general practice team or specialist mental health team can help you find a therapist or refer you for some free counselling. You can find counsellors, therapists and psychiatrists in the Family Services Directory. The Mental Health Education and Resource Centre (MHERC) can also help. Some therapy options will cost but your general practice team can talk through the approximate cost with you.

Specialist therapists

You may be referred to a specialist mental health team to get help with psychosis.

Mental Health Specialist Service

The Specialist Mental Health Service, a division of Te Whatu Ora Waitaha is the major supplier of mental health services in Canterbury for those up to 65 years old. It includes the Child, Adolescent & Family Service for children and teenagers up to the age of 18, Totara House for young people aged 18 to 30, and Adult General Mental Health Services.

Older Persons' Health Specialist Service

This is the major supplier of services, including mental health services, for Canterbury people older than 65.

Child, Adolescent and Family Services

This is a specialist outpatient service for 13- to 18-year-olds (or older if still at school) with moderate to severe mental illness, and their whānau (families). If a young person has psychotic symptoms or mood issues, the service's early intervention team can provide the best help for them. Read more about Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Child, Adolescent and Family Community Mental Health Services.

Community support groups

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

  HealthInfo recommends the following pages

On the next page: Supporting someone with psychosis

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed September 2023.


Page reference: 779236

Review key: HIPSY-124133