Promoting mental health, demystifying mental illness, countering stigma and discrimination

TDHB-Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services

What do we do?
We provide a 'specialist' assessment and treatment service for Children and Teenagers up to the age of 18 inclusive, who are experiencing severe mental health difficulties. This is a free service.
What does 'severe' mean?
There are a range of  difficulties which could be called mental health difficulties, which we will outline later. However what we mean by severe is :
  • Where the difficulty is having a major impact upon the child's/teenager's ability to function within their environment ( by effecting their relationships, education, family/whanau).
  • Where there are fears for a child's/teenager's safety (because of threats to harm self or others).
  • Is usually present in more than one setting, ie not just at home or school.
What we mean when we say mental health difficulties!
  • Depression
  • Psychosis
  • Eating disorders (including anorexia or bulimia)
  • Bi-polar disorder
  • Anxiety disorders (including panic attacks, phobias)
  • Post traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Attention Deficit & Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Pervasive Developmental Delay ( including Autism, Asperger's syndrome)

It might be useful to know what we don't provide!
  • Parenting services
  • Relationship counselling
  • Behavioural programmes
  • General counselling
  • Family health counselling services
  • Psychological evaluations for educational requirements
  • Sexual abuse counselling
  • Anger management
  • Specific services for people with learning difficulties
  • Forensic programmes/interventions


Who provides the service?
The team is Multi-disciplinary ( MDT) consisting of a Team Leader, Child & Adolescent Psychiatrists, Social worker Therapists, Psychologists, Mental Health Nurses and a Drug & Alcohol worker. We also have interns from Psychology, Nursing and Social Work.

The service also works in partnership with the Mental Health Crisis Team  (who provide out of hours cover for mental health emergencies).

This service is free of charge.

What do we offer?
We offer a range of services. Firstly a comprehensive mental health assessment is completed and then after discussion with the family/whanau and MDT a plan of intervention is put together. This may be include:
  • Individual work (various models)
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Play Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Alcohol & Drug Counselling
  • Specific Psychological testing
  • School Liaison
  • Group work
  • Psycho-education
  • Medication
  • Helping you to access a more appropriate service

So how do you access our service?

The service accepts written referrals from Government and private agencies involved in Health, Education and Welfare.  All referrals must be written on our referral form (except where an urgent assessment is sought, however this must be followed up with a written referral). We offer clinics at the Base Hospital Child & Adolescent Community Centre, Hawera Hospital, Opunake, Patea, Waverley, Waitara & Stratford.

Kaupapa Maori  Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services
These are presently provided by Mahia Mai A Whai Tara and Raumano Trust.  Service users can choose to use these services and staff here can liaise with these services to ensure the referral is made.
Our relationship with other services
The Team has close working relationships with other providers of child health services, including Paediatricians, the Physical Therapy Team and Public Health Nurses. The team also liaises with schools and with agencies and professionals in the Education and Welfare sector. Client information is only shared once appropriate consent has been given except where there are Urgent Child Protection issues.
Child & Adolescent Community Centre
First Building to the right through the Tukapa Street Entrance
Tel:  06-753 7790
Fax:  06-753 7791 (Child & Adolescent Mental Health Team)

The fact sheets below have been developed by Child & Adolescent Services at Taranaki District Health Board and are available in PDF download by clicking on any of the titles.

Teen Depression
Treating Depression
Behavioural & Conduct Problems
ADHD & Hyperkinetic Disorder
ADHD & Hyperkinetic Disorder-Stimulant Medication
Sleep Problems in Childhood
Children who wet or Soil themselves
Children who do not go to School
The Child with General Learning Difficulty
Specific Learning Difficulties
Autism & Asperger Syndrome
Worries & Anxieties - Helping Children to Cope
Divorce or Separation - Impact on Children &  Adolescents
Death in the Family
Domestic Violence - What is it?
The Emotional Cost of Bullying
Child Abuse and Neglect: The Emotional Effects
Traumatic Stress in Children - What is it?
Bipolar Affective Disorder
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Eating Disorders - in Young People
Suicide & Attempted Suicide
Deliberate Self Harm in Young People
Chronic Physical Illness - the effects on Mental Health
Medically Unexplained Physical Symptoms - what are the causes?
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
Alcohol & Drugs - What Parents Need to Know Part A
Alcohol & Drugs - What Parents Need to Know Part B
Good Parenting
Coping with Stress
Psychotic Illness
Depression in Children & Young People
Worries about Weight
Drugs & Alcohol - Commonly used Drugs
Dealing with Tantrums.

Website developed by Child and Adolescent Health Services:
Like Minds Taranaki gratefully acknowledges the financial support of this website by
The Ministry of Health

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Taranaki Mental Health Sector