The Future Directions Network

Southland Catchment Profile

Mental Health and Addiction Services in Southland

Intersectoral Agencies


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Primary Health Care Services

Primary sector health care is normally the first contact an individual has with a health professional, for example a visit to/from a doctor or nurse. It is professional health care in the community where people reside and work.

Primary care covers a broad range of out-of-hospital services - not all of which are government funded. It also covers specialties such as health education and promotion, counselling and disease and injury prevention.

In a Mental Health and Addictions setting primary health care includes GP, PHO (Primary Health Organisation) and Primary Mental Health Care Specialist services.


Southern district has one PHO delivering primary health care services to the lower South Island (from Oamaru south). It employs 88 general practitioners (61.8 full-time equivalents).

Invercargill OfficeDunedin Office
40 Clyde Street333 Princes Street
Phone: 0800 800 249Phone: 0800 477 115



The Primary Mental Health Brief Intervention Service is available to GP patients with a mild to moderate mental health issue. Referrals are received from GPs and the service is free. The service offers access to the Brief Intervention Team with up to five sessions of support, assessment, treatment or referral to appropriate agencies. The service includes: Strengths Assessment, Goal setting, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Psychosocial interventions, Crisis resolution, Stress/Anxiety management, Education around illness and illness prevention for patients and/or family members and problem solving skills.

A combined team of 6 staff including Nurse Specialists, Social Workers and a Psychologist deliver the service in Southland and are funded by the Southern District Health Board and WellSouth. They see approximately 1,800 clients each year.