Engage Aotearoa

Funding Your Treatment

Funding Your Treatment

There are a number of different ways you might be able to access free support, specialist mental-health services, and talking therapy in New Zealand. There is often a limit on how many sessions you can access or how much of the cost is covered.

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ACC funded therapy for sexual trauma
If you have experienced sexual abuse or assault you may be eligible for ACC support to pay for therapy with a clinical psychologist or psychotherapist. You can do this directly through the ACC-registered therapist you approach for support. You can find a list of ACC therapists at www.findsupport.co.nz

ACC funding for therapy after an injury
If you have experienced an injury, you may be able to access funding for therapy from ACC as part of your rehabilitation plan. Contact ACC directly to inquire about this. Phone 0800 101 996 or visit the ACC website to find out more: ww.acc.co.nz/im-injured/types-of-ongoing-support/counselling-therapy/

Breast Cancer Foundation funding for counseling
If you’ve ever been diagnosed with breast cancer (recently or a long time ago), or you are receiving preventative treatment for high-risk of breast cancer, you can access three free counselling sessions through the Breast Cancer Foundation. To access this service, you need a referral from your breast cancer specialist, nurse, or GP, or you can complete an online self-referral. Find out more here: www.breastcancerfoundation.org.nz/support/free-counselling

DHB Community Mental-Health Centres
Community Mental-Health Centres or CMHCs are DHB funded specialist services that provide multidisciplinary support in the form of key workers, therapy, and psychiatrist services. Auckland’s CMHCs are listed in their own dedicated section of the Community Resources Directory here. You usually need a referral from your GP doctor and spaces are reserved for those with the highest need. If you are facing mild to moderate difficulties, the CMHC or your GP will be able to refer you to other options. Some CMHCs accept self-referrals and many will be able to refer you on to other options if you do not need their level of support so it can be useful to give them a call too.

Disability Allowances from WINZ  
If you need help to pay for counselling services related to a disability or health condition (including a mental-health condition) or if you are in hardship, you may be able to get help from Work and Income. Talk to Work and Income about whether you qualify for a Disability Allowance to help pay for counselling and what you need to do to access it. You may need a medical certificate from your GP. There is a cap on how much assistance can be provided each week and depending on the service-provider’s cost you may need to pay part of the fee.  To find out what assistance may be available, contact Work and Income on 0800 559 009 or visit the Work and Income website www.workandincome.govt.nz If you are deaf or find it hard to communicate by phone, you can send a message to WINZ’s Deaf Link free-fax service on 0800 621 621 or email MSD_Deaf_Services@msd.govt.nz

Disability Allowances from StudyLink
Full-time students who are NZ citizens may be eligible for support to pay for therapy through StudyLink, in much the same way as you can through WINZ. Visit the Health and Disability page on the StudyLink website, or phone 0800 88 99 00 to find out more.

Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP)
If you are in paid employment, you may be able to access free counselling through your company’s Employee Assistance Programme. For more info visit www.eapservices.co.nz or talk to your employer.

GP Doctors and Primary Health Providers
Your GP is a great first port of call if you need help to access funded or low-cost therapy. Ask your local GP about the services available at your DHB’s publicly funded Community Mental-Health Centre (CMHC) and the other places they can refer you to for help. As of 2009, all primary health organisations (PHOs) have funded primary mental health programmes, so for most people your GP practice will have funding – though how the funding is used will differ. If your GP is part of the ProCare PHO, you may be eligible for funded GP mental healthcare AND access to 4-6 sessions of psychological intervention (and in some instances funded psychiatric review if indicated).

Gumboot Friday funding for therapy for young people
Gumboot Friday is an initiative run by Key to Life Charitable Trust that relies on public donations to provide funding for six sessions of therapy for young people up to the age of 24 years. You can choose one of the therapists who have registered with Gumboot Friday or ask another therapist of your choice to contact Gumboot Friday to arrange funding on your behalf. Find out more here: www.iamhope.org.nz/chooseacounsellor

Health and medical insurance
If you have health or medical insurance, your policy may include mental-healthcare cover you can use to help fund therapy. For example, NIB provides several insurance policies that can fund therapy. Check with your insurance provider.

Not-for-profit services with funded and low-cost options
There are a range of different community services run by NGOs, charities and not-for-profits that are funded to provide free mental-health support including one-on-one support, groups, peer support, social work services, help getting back into employment and more. There are a number of free and low-cost counselling and talking therapy services available, such as HELP for people who have experienced sexual violence, and Family Action services for people who have experienced trauma or family violence. Google is your friend. I have collected some of these together in the Community Resources Directory. The Community Support Services section and the Counsellors and Therapists section are two good places to start. Don’t be afraid to ask a potential therapist if they have any low-cost or subsidised options. They will often be most happy to advise you of any financial support that is available.

Victim Support funding for therapy after a serious crime
Victim Support provides access to funded therapy through their Victim Assistance Scheme for people who have survived serious crimes recover. For more information visit Victim Support’s Financial Assistance page here: https://victimsupport.org.nz/practical-information/financial-assistance

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