Mental health toolbox opened in Orewa

Strategies to help people cope with anxiety and depression will form the basis of a programme to be held in Orewa next term.

Northcote-based charity Hearts and Minds, funded by Waitemata District Health Board, is bringing its Moving Past Depression and Anxiety programme to Orewa. It is facilitated by counsellors Libby Taylor and Craig Gemmell.

Hearts and Minds’ wellbeing and resilience programme manager, Julie Walker, describes the programme as a toolbox, with a range of approaches to help people with mild to moderate depression and anxiety.

She says the group focuses on techniques that include cognitive behavioural therapy, acceptance commitment therapy and mindfulness skills. Between them, these techniques will introduce ways to challenge unhelpful and negative thought patterns and extend a person’s comfort zones. Relaxation and breathing techniques are included to help participants become more aware of living in the present moment.

Julie says feedback from previous programmes shows that as well as the skills learned, people appreciate meeting others who may have similar problems.

“It is a good complement to one-on-one therapy, as in a group there is that community connection,” Julie says.

The course is free for anyone who has a referral from a GP, counsellor or other health professional. Without a referral, the cost is $105.

There are eight sessions, which run weekly from May 16 to July 4, at the Hibiscus Coast Youth Centre in Orewa. To enrol, phone 09 441 8989 or email


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