Increasing access to effective talking therapies

Some key reasons why Te Pou is developing tools and guidance for talking therapy programmes.

Evidence based talking therapies are effective

Talking therapies have been proven to address a wide variety of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, psychosis, bipolar, alcohol and substance use issues, eating disorders, trauma and many more.

"More than any other aspect of service I’ve received, talking therapies gave me a chance to tell my stories in a purposeful way – to be heard, to hear myself, and with support to start making meaning from my experiences… Through this process I’ve been able to integrate my experience of mental distress positively into my identity and my life." – Fiona Howard, service user.

Talking therapies are cost effective. A New Zealand based cost benefit analysis, adapted from the UK Department of Health’s economic model, found that for every dollar spent on talking therapies, society could expect to receive $6.26 in increased output and cost savings.

Talking therapies are an integrated solution

A stepped care approach to talking therapies connects primary care, DHB and NGO services at different levels of intervention. A stepped care approach ensures people get the right support, whichever door they enter.

"I wish it had been easier for my brother to access the right type of talking therapy in the community. He had complex needs making him ineligible for a standard package of care but he didn’t want to engage with secondary services again due to previous experience. Instead he tried to make me his counsellor, and that didn’t work." – Emma Skellern, family member.

Talking therapies can be offered early and be of use for many

Talking therapies available in the community through GPs, practice nurses or other health services can support people showing early signs of unhappiness and stress. This can prevent serious issues developing, and build resilience and wellbeing.

Service users in Aotearoa are calling for talking therapies

Since 2004, clinicians and people who have a lived experience of mental health and addiction have been asking for talking therapies to be available to anyone who need them. This message first published in ‘Our Lives in 2014’ (Mental Health Commission, 2004) continues to be reinforced.