Don't be afraid to get help, for you or others

In June the Timaru Herald published the first of a series of features on suicide in South Canterbury.

People came forward to share different but profound ways that mental health issues and suicide have impacted on their lives.

For many, their message was this: people shouldn't be afraid to get help, for themselves or for others they believe could be in need of it.

Many agencies in South Canterbury provide mental health services or can connect people with others that provide those services.

The following isn't an exhaustive list, but it is a place to start.

These are agencies in the community you can telephone or walk in to during operating hours and receive help or guidance on how to get help.

Remember, if you believe someone is at risk of suicide, don't wait - phone TACT, South Canterbury's psychiatric crisis helpline, on 0800 277 997. The TACT line is answered 24/7 by a trained and experienced mental health nurse who can, if needed, get in touch with an on-call psychiatrist.


The family doctor

Your general practitioner is likely very familiar with your medical history and has a good idea of what services are available that would be best suited to your needs. GPs can also connect patients with South Canterbury's Brief Intervention Service, which provides a limited number of free individual counselling sessions and can lead to longer-term care if needed.

Adventure Development

Wayne Carter, area co-ordinator

Hastings McLeod Building, First Floor, cnr Church & Sophia Streets, Timaru

(03) 684 5870

Offers individual, family and adventure-based counselling for young people experiencing difficulties in their lives. Open to young people, mainly aged between 13-19 years, who have issues with alcohol or other drugs or mental health issues such as depression. Can involve adventure and wilderness therapy.

Anglican Care South Canterbury

Gwenda Kendrew, manager

9A Dee St, Timaru

(03) 688 9291

Offers professional counselling services around a wide range of issues, including counsellors who specialise in grief and loss. Offers the Oceans Grief and Loss Programme for children who are affected by separation, divorce, or the sickness or death of someone close to them.

Arowhenua Whanau Services

92A King St, Temuka

(03) 615 5180 office

(03) 6157452 clinic

Offers a wide range of Maori health services, including mental health assessments, at He Oranga Pai Health Clinic, located at the Arowhenua Marae in Huirapa Street, Temuka.

Kensington Centre

Cnr High and Queen streets, Timaru

(03) 687 2150 office

Home of the South Canterbury District Health Board's individual and community mental health services.

Includes care for alcohol and other drug issues, child and adolescent mental health, and in- patient care.

Family Works

Liz Nolan, manager

26 North St, Timaru

(03) 688 5029

Offers services for all members of the family, including counselling for trauma or depression, programmes to help children and adults deal with issues like anger and stress, and programmes to help develop a positive relationship between parents and teens.


Margaret Hall, Plunket nurse

3 Dee St, Timaru

(03) 684 4159

Offers programmes to help new mums and families, including the Postnatal Adjustment Programme for mums experiencing distress or depression following their baby's birth.

Relationships Aotearoa

16 Beswick St, Timaru

(03) 684 3512

Provides counselling services for individuals, couples and families across a range of issues including personal relationships, work and family life.

South Canterbury Rural Support Trust

David Hewson, chairman

(03) 612 6367 or (021) 720 367

Assistance for rural residents and communities provided by local people with a wide range of experience and knowledge in dealing with challenging rural situations. This includes helping people to cope with personal issues.

Supporting Families Aoraki

Mandy Shelker, manager

77 Grey Rd, Timaru

(03) 684 4523

Provides education, support and help to the families and other caregivers of people with major mental illnesses.

Youth Alley

Josh South and Kirsty Henderson, youth workers

(03) 688 6997

Provides young people, aged 12 to 24, with help and support across a range of needs, including education, professional training and employment, housing and mental health issues.

The Timaru Herald