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HealthInfo Canterbury

Getting help with psychosis

Therapy groupThe treatment for a psychotic disorder aims to bring back your normal feeling of reality, so that 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 GP 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, how they work, and addresses any concerns you may have about taking them. You can find out more about the particular medicines you are 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 GP 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 GP 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.

Canterbury DHB Mental Health Specialist Service

This 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. You can find out more about the service on this page.

Canterbury DHB Older Persons' Health Specialist Service

This is the major supplier of services, including mental health services, for Canterbury people older than 65. The Older Persons' Mental Health Service was formerly known as Psychiatric Services for the Elderly.

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 families. If a young person has psychotic symptoms or mood issues that could be the start of bipolar disorder, the service's early intervention team can provide the best help for them. Read more about Canterbury DHB 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. Endorsed by consultant psychiatrist, Canterbury DHB. Page created December 2020.

Page reference: 779236

Review key: HIPSY-124133