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HealthInfo Canterbury

Getting help with depression

If self-help techniques and lifestyle changes alone haven't helped you feel better, look for support from a health professional. This kind of depression often needs at least six months of treatment.

There are lots of options for treatment. Start by talking to your GP or practice nurse 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.

Depression NZ gives a brief outline of available treatments and how they can help.

BluePages has information on medical treatments, psychological treatments, and lifestyle and alternative treatments.

If you need specialist care for your depression, your GP can refer you to Canterbury DHB Specialist Mental Health Service.

Talk therapy (psychological treatments)

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

A psychologist or 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 counsellors, therapists, and psychiatrists in the Family Services Directory, or the Mental Health Resource Centre (MHERC) can help. Some therapy options will cost, but your GP can talk through the approximate cost with you.


Your GP or psychiatrist may feel that medication could be effective. Medications are a common treatment for depression in adults but aren't usually used to treat children and young people. You can read more about medications on Beyond Blue's Information about antidepressants.

You can find out more about the particular medicines you are taking in Medications for mental health issues.

Specialist therapists

Talk to your GP about a referral to any of these professionals.

Phone lines

There's always someone to call if you're struggling:

Community support groups

  HealthInfo recommends the following pages

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Endorsed by Psychiatrist Canterbury DHB. Last reviewed May 2019. Last updated June 2019.

See also:

Medications for mental health issues

Reading in Mind book scheme

Page reference: 541075

Review key: HIDEP-48681