The first port of call is seeing your family doctor (GP). To access mental health services directly, you could call your local community mental health service (see under Hospitals in the front of the phone book), but some may require a referral from your family doctor. You could also call Healthline on 0800 611 116 for advice.
If it's a crisis or emergency situation, contact the crisis team at your local mental health service (see under Hospitals in the front of the phone book or view our crisis contact numbers). If there is immediate risk of harm to self or others ring the police 111.
Visit our page on Finding a doctor and Finding a counsellor.
If you are covered by the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992, you can request a visit from a District Inspector who will advise you of your rights and the review processes. There's a good chapter on rights in a Wellington Community Law Centre book called Mental Health and the Law: a legal resource for people who experience mental illness.
The Wellington Community Law Centre has an online Community Law Manual. You can contact your local Community Law Centre for legal advice, Auckland also has the specialist Auckland Disability Law service which includes mental health.
You can contact your local mental health consumer network for advocacy and support. In many areas there will also be access to a peer-support service, often through a community-based mental health support service.
You will find the latest Directory of District Inspectors, along with guidelines for their role, on the Ministry of Health's website. District inspectors are the watchdogs of patient's rights, ensuring the Mental Health Act is correctly applied and the rights of individuals are respected and upheld.
For legal advice
For complaints when human rights are being violated
Human Rights Commission 0800 496 877.
For complaints about mental health services, or other complaints (eg discrimination, privacy, complaints against the police, prison services or a government agency)
Contact your local Community Law Centre. Auckland also has the specialist Auckland Disability Law service which includes mental health. For those under 25 years, Youthlaw has an advice line on 0800 844 529 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Try your local mental health consumer network, or a community based mental health support service. For an independent advocate to assist with rights, questions or complaints about services, use the Health & Disability Commissioner's Advocacy Service.
You can also contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau for your local numbers 0800 367 222.
There is a Code of Rights issued by the Health and Disability Commissioner that outlines the rights of users of any health and disability service. If you feel your rights have been breached you can contact them for advice on 0800 11 22 33. The Mental Health Commission produced the following resource in 2014: Oranga Ngakau - Getting the Most Out of Mental Health Services: A Recovery Resources for Service Users; it includes information on rights.
Complaint about a health service received
Online Complaint Form. Also see this page outlining the complaints process.
Booklet: Your Rights & How to Make a Complaint (Te Reo Maori)
Complaint about human rights being violated
Human Rights Commission
0800 496 877
See also Making Complaints: A Guide for Mental Health Service Users
Complaint that privacy has been invaded
0800 803 909
Forum for people who allege abuse or neglect, or have concerns about their time in Government care (including psychiatric hospitals and wards)
The former Confidential Listening and Assistance Service has closed. You may wish to contact the agency responsible for your care directly. For matters relating to child welfare care contact HistoricClaims@msd.govt.nz or for matters relating to psychiatric care contact the legal services team at email@example.com
It's great you are providing support. Please visit our special Worried about someone page for information to help you.
View our page of links to a range of support groups.
Working in the mental health field
Te Rau Matatini – Maori workforce development.
Le Va – Pasifica workforce development.
The Werry Centre – workforce development within the child and adolescent mental health sector.
Vacancies at the Mental Health Foundation are advertised on our website and on Seek.
We do not have a volunteer programme at the Mental Health Foundation. However, we can suggest some organisations for you to contact:
Volunteering NZ (national)
Volunteering Auckland (Auckland)
Seek Volunteer (national)
Raeburn House Community Volunteer Centre (North Shore or Rodney District of Auckland region) (09) 480 9620 or firstname.lastname@example.org
DoGoodJobs (job seekers website, includes some voluntary roles)
Community based mental health organisations – browse our online directories to see what organisations are local to you that might seem a good 'fit' for you to approach.
Mental health consumer networks – if you have lived experienced of mental illness, consider volunteering as a peer-support worker.
Send your question to our information officers at: email@example.com