Mental Health and Nutrition Research Group

The aim of our research group is to find nutritional interventions that are effective in treating psychiatric/psychological illness.

At our lab, we independently test new, groundbreaking multinutrient formulae, probiotics and other natural, beneficial substances. We run studies on many different psychological disorders, including ADHD (in both adults and children), addictions, depression and stress. We use all kinds of different trial designs to test these products, including multiple baseline designs, open label, and the ‘gold standard’ of clinical testing, the randomised, placebo-controlled trial (RCT).

We are not employed by the manufacturers of these products; we have no interest in getting a good result for them. All we’re interested in is finding real treatments that work, for the good of people affected by psychological illnesses.

Current research

Meet the team

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Julia is a Professor of Clinical Psychology in the Department of Psychology and the Director of the Mental Health and Nutrition Research Group. Originally from Toronto, Canada, she completed her PhD at the University of Calgary in clinical psychology followed by a two year post-doctoral fellowship at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. In 2000, she joined the Department of Psychology where she teaches child psychology in the Clinical Psychology Programme.

Her interests in nutrition and mental illness grew out of her own research showing poor outcomes for children with significant psychiatric illness despite receiving conventional treatments for their conditions. In the last decade, she and her lab has been running clinical trials investigating the role of broad-spectrum micronutrients in the expression of mental illness, specifically ADHD, mood disorders, anxiety and stress associated with the Canterbury earthquakes. Julia has over 100 peer reviewed publications and book chapters, has been frequently featured in the media, and has given invited talks all over the world on her work on nutrition and mental health. She was the recipient of the Ballin Award 2015 from the NZ Psychologist Society, an award that recognises notably significant contributions to the development or enhancement of clinical psychology in Aotearoa New Zealand. She was also named in the top 100 Most Influential Women in New Zealand in 2015 and received a Braveheart award in 2018 for her contribution to making Christchurch a better place to live. Her 2014 TEDx talk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dqXHHCc5lA has been viewed over 800,000 times.

Julia is passionate about helping people find alternative treatments for their psychiatric symptoms and being a voice for those who have been let down by the current mental health system.

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Martin is a Research Professor and Head of Department, Pathology and Biomedical Science, University of Otago, Christchurch (New Zealand), and director of the Carney Centre for Pharmacogenomics.  He studied microbiology at Canterbury University (Christchurch, New Zealand) before undertaking PhD studies in bacterial genetics at the University of Auckland, and postdoctoral studies in leukaemia genetics at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge UK.  He returned to Christchurch in 1991 and established a human genetics research laboratory at the University of Otago medical school.  Prof Kennedy’s team has been researching genetic and epigenetic factors underlying a range of diseases and their treatments, with particular interests in the genetic underpinnings of adverse drug reactions.  He has published some 160 papers and book chapters in genetics and related fields.

For further information about Martin’s research: https://www.otago.ac.nz/christchurch/departments/pathology/people/martin-kennedy.html

Roger Mulder

Professor Roger Mulder is a Professor in the Department of Psychological Medicine at the University of Otago, Christchurch and works clinically in the Consult Liaison Service at Christchurch Hospital. His academic interests include personality disorders, mood disorders, genetics, neurobiology, suicide, substance abuse, psychiatric aspects of medical illness and history and cultural aspects of mental illness.

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Neville M Blampied is Professor of Psychology at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch NZ. His major research area for the past 20+ years has been in applied family psychology, notably pediatric sleep disturbances. Recently he has become concerned with methodological issues in research and has developed innovations in the visualization of data, incorporating aspects of the new statistics approach, that assist in understanding the outcomes of various psychological interventions.

In December 2012 he completed a 7-year stint as Head of Department (HoD) and member of the Executive of the College of Science, during which time he lead the Department’s research into the psychological effects of earthquakes. It is from this research that he developed a particular interest in the mental health benefits of nutritional and since retirement as HoD he has continued with active research in the Mental Health & Nutrition Laboratory.

He has also served as Director of Scientific Affairs for the New Zealand Psychological Society (2004-2010), as National President of the Association of University Staff (2000-2001), on the Board of the NZ Universities Academic Audit Unit (2001-2003), and was President, Division 6 of the International Association of Applied Psychology 2010 - 2014.

He has published ~ 100 peer-reviewed papers and chapters, and has supervised ~130 student theses and projects. He is currently co-editing a book on functional behavioural assessment and treatment of sleep problems in children with autism spectrum disorder, to be published by Sage.

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Meredith is a PhD candidate within the Mental Health and Nutrition Research group. She completed her Master’s Degree in Psychology, exploring the ability of children to recognise and understand facial expressions of emotions.

Meredith became interested in the role of nutrition in mental health during her clinical psychology training. Her PhD project will be focused on investigating the impact of micronutrients on symptoms of anxiety and depression in adults, through a community-based, randomised controlled trial. Meredith’s other research interests include exploring feedback-informed treatment and best-evidence practice for anxiety disorders, particularly obsessive compulsive disorder.

Meredith is a registered clinical psychologist and has had experience working with adults experiencing a range of mental health issues including anxiety disorders, depression, substance abuse and dependence, adjustment, stress and offending behaviours. She is committed to assisting people with mental health issues in accessing appropriate, safe and effective treatments and enjoys helping clients explore the role of diet and nutrition within best-evidence treatment modalities.

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Ben is a PhD candidate at the Mental Health Research Laboratory at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand.  He has a Masters degree in Holistic nutrition and is passionate about the effects of micronutrients on all aspects of health.  He is the founder and clinical director of BePure health, a scientific, holistic health company.

He is excited to be progressing the research of pyrroluria, a urine metabolite that has been said to bind zinc and B6 resulting in mental health disturbances.  His research bridges the fields of nutrition, mental health and metabolomics.  Stage one of the research involves establishing a new chemical assay to measure the molecule (HPL) in urine and then check binding potentials (in situ) with zinc and B6.  The main body of the PhD involves running a randomised, blinded, placebo, controlled trial with highly anxious people using high dose zinc and B6 as a treatment and levels of HPL as an outcome predictor. After his PhD is completed he plans to continue researching in the field of metabolomics, health outcomes and natural treatment options.

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Hayley is a PhD student within the Mental Health and Nutrition Research Group at the University of Canterbury. She has a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Psychology from the University of Liverpool, UK and has worked in community mental health in New Zealand for five years before embarking on her PhD research.

As part of her PhD research, Hayley is coordinating a double blind, randomised, placebo controlled trial investigating the mental health outcomes of multi-micronutrient supplementation in pregnant women with low mood and/or anxiety and the general health outcomes of their child. Hayley is also excited to explore the mechanisms via which micronutrients exert their psychological effect by looking at inflammation and the association with antenatal mood and anxiety. Hayley hopes that this research will provide evidence of an alternative treatment option for pregnant women who are struggling with depression and/or anxiety and also contribute to our understanding of the mechanisms that may underpin the development and maintenance of psychological symptoms.

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Siobhan is a Masters student within the Mental Health and Nutrition Research Group. She has a Bachelor of Science majoring in Psychology from the University of Canterbury and is passionate about maternal nutrition and infant development.

Her current research targets the effects of micronutrient supplementation in utero on maternal-infant relationships and infant development. As part of her research, Siobhan is involved in a double blind, randomised, placebo controlled trial investigating the mental health outcomes of micronutrient supplementation on pregnant women with low mood and/or anxiety.  Siobhan is interested to explore the relationship that micronutrients have on infant gut microbiota, growth and development in addition to how they exert their effects on maternal psychologic al outcomes. Siobhan is particularly excited about the potential for prenatal micronutrient supplementation to influence mental and physical health outcomes in both mother and baby.

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Kathryn Darling is a PhD student in the Mental Health and Nutrition Research Group and the University of Canterbury, Christchurch. She completed a Bachelor of Science with Honours from the University of Canterbury, and is currently training to be a clinical psychologist. Before beginning postgraduate study, Kathryn worked in various roles supporting young people with intellectual disabilities and teenagers with mental health problems. She particularly enjoys working with children, young people and families. She developed an interest in nutrition and mental health after observing the key role played by factors such as diet, physical activity, sleep, and social connection in people's mental wellbeing. As part of her PhD research, Kathryn coordinated a double blind, randomised, placebo controlled trial testing the efficacy of a broad spectrum micronutrient supplement in treating ADHD in children. She is now investigating the longer-term outcomes of the children who took part in this study through a naturalistic follow-up design.

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Aaron is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Gene Structure and Function Laboratory, University of Otago (Christchurch).  Part of his research focuses on chemical modifications that occur on our DNA (epigenetic marks) and human gut microbiome analysis. He is working in collaboration with the Mental Health and Nutrition Research Group to investigate whether nutritional supplementation with micronutrients can influence these key aspects of human health.​

For more information on Aaron's research:
https://www.otago.ac.nz/christchurch/departments/pathology/people/aaron-stevens.html

  • Dr Pip Reihana
  • Dr Hahna Retallick-Brown
  • Peati Mene-Vaele
  • Alison Carley
  • Dr Heather Gordon
  • Dr Amy Romijn
  • Rachel Harrison
  • Joanna Lothian
  • Amy Harris
  • Ellen Sole
  • Grace McNatty
  • Sarah Dymond
  • Shelby Hantz

About our work

At the moment, our studies are only open to people who are not taking any psychiatric drugs. If you’d like to find out what trials we are running at the moment, or would like to take part, please visit the study pages above. If you’re not eligible for any of our trials, or you just feel as though you’d like a bit of support, please check out the Resources tab, where we have provided a list of counselling and other relevant services within Christchurch. For information about the products we study, please email Julia Rucklidge.

The range of the response to micronutrients can vary from a small but noticeable improvement to a substantial and dramatic life changing improvement. Based on short-term trials, about 50% show a meaningful and clinically important change. Others show a more modest improvement. A minority (probably about 20%) do not respond at all. Our research shows that the number of people responding goes up the longer they stay on the micronutrients. One appealing aspect of the approach is that people report very few side effects and they tend to be mild and transient. This research has been done on many different psychiatric conditions, ranging from bipolar disorder to ADHD to anxiety to stress.

All our studies have ethical approval from the University of Canterbury Human Ethics Committee and the Southern Regional Ethics Committee.

Our funding sources include: Canterbury Medical Research Foundation, Gravida, Vic Davis Memorial Trust, the GAMA Foundation, Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care, the University of Canterbury and a number of private donations.

This research is hard to fund with public funds. Anyone interested in financially supporting this line of research can make donations to the University Foundation (with tax benefits). Simply go to https://www.alumni.canterbury.ac.nz/giving/nz-donation-form. In the Designation section, click choose Nutrition and Mental Health Research Group. Or you can choose “other” and then in the box provided indicate that you would like to support Dr Julia Rucklidge's research programme on nutrition and mental health.

Relevant Publications to Mental Health and Nutrition

Stevens, A., Rucklidge, J. J., Eggleston, M., Darling, K., & Kennedy, M. (in press). Methylomic changes in response to micronutrient supplementation and MTHFR genotype. Epigenomics.

Taylor, M.R., Chuang, C., Carrasco, K.D., Rucklidge, J. J. (in press). Dietary and Micronutrient Treatments for Children with Neurodevelopment Disorders. Current Developmental Disorders Reports.

Rucklidge, J. J., Eggleston, M., Johnstone, J. M., Darling, K., & Frampton, C. M. (2018). Vitamin-mineral treatment improves aggression and emotional regulation in children with ADHD: A fully-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 59(3), 232-246. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jcpp.12817/full

Kimball, S., Mirhosseini, N., & Rucklidge, J. J. (2018). Database Analysis of Depression and Anxiety in a Community Sample—Response to a Micronutrient Intervention. Nutrients, 10(2):152. http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/10/2/152

Blampied, M., Bell, C., Gilbert, C., Boden, J., Nicholls, R., Rucklidge, J. J. (2018) Protocol for a Randomized Double Blind, Placebo Control Trial Exploring the Effectiveness of a Micronutrient Formula in improving symptoms of Anxiety and Depression. Medicines. 5(2), 56. http://www.mdpi.com/2305-6320/5/2/56

Rucklidge, J. J., Frampton, C., Gorman, B., & Boggis, A. (2017). Vitamin-mineral treatment of ADHD in adults:  A one year follow up of a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Attention Disorders, 21(6), 522-532. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1087054714530557

Sole, E. J., Rucklidge, J. J., & Blampied, N. M. (2017). Anxiety and Stress in Children Following an Earthquake: Clinically Beneficial Effects of Treatment with Micronutrients. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 26(5), 1422-1431. doi: 10.1007/s10826-016-0607-2 https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10826-016-0607-2

Romijn, A. R. & Rucklidge, J. J. Kuijer, R. G., & Frampton, C. M. (2017). A double blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial of a probiotic formulation for the symptoms of depression. Australia and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 51(8), 810-821. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0004867416686694

Stevens, A., Rucklidge, J. J., & Kennedy, M. (2017). Epigenetics, nutrition and mental health. Is there a relationship? Nutritional Neuroscience. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28553986

Rucklidge, J. J., & Mulder, R. T. (2016). Could nutrition help behaviours associated with personality disorders? A narrative review. Personality and Mental Health, 10(1): 3-11. doi: 10.1002/pmh.1325 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pmh.1325/epdf

Lothian, J. A, Blampied, N., & Rucklidge, J. J. (2016). Effect of Micronutrients on Insomnia in Adults: A Multiple-Baseline Design. Clinical Psychological Science,4(6), 1112-1124. http://cpx.sagepub.com/content/early/2016/05/21/2167702616631740.abstract

Rucklidge, J. J. & Kaplan, B. J. (2016). Nutrition and mental health (editorial). Clinical Psychological Science, 4(6), 1082-1084. http://cpx.sagepub.com/content/4/6/1082.full

Arnold, L. E., Fristad, M. A., Gracious, B. L., Johnstone, J. M., Kaplan, B. J., Popper, C. W., & Rucklidge, J. J. (2016). Psychosis resulting from herbs rather than nutrients. The Primary Care Companion for CNS Disorders, 18(2), e1.

Retallick-Brown, H., Rucklidge, J. J., & Blampied, N. (2016). Study protocol for a randomised double blind, treatment control trial comparing the efficacy of a micronutrient formula to a single vitamin supplement in the treatment of premenstrual syndrome. Medicines, 3, 32. http://www.mdpi.com/2305-6320/3/4/32

Kaplan, B. J., Rucklidge, J.J., McLeod, K., & Romijn, A. (2015). The Emerging Field of Nutritional Mental Health: Inflammation, the Microbiome, Oxidative Stress, and Mitochondrial Function. Clinical Psychological Science 3(6), 964-980. DOI: 10.1177/2167702614555413 http://cpx.sagepub.com/content/early/2015/01/24/2167702614555413.abstract

Rucklidge, J.J., Kaplan, B. J., & Mulder, R. (2015). What if nutrients could treat mental illness? (Debate). Australia and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 49(5), 407-408. DOI: 10.1177/0004867414565482 http://anp.sagepub.com/content/49/5/407.full.pdf+html

Sarris, J., Logan, A.C., Amminger, G.P., Balanzá-Martínez, V., Freeman, M.P., Hibbeln, J., Matsuoka, Y., Mischoulon, D., Mizoue, T., Nanri, A., Nishi, D., Ramsey, D. Rucklidge, J.J., Sanchez-Villegas, A., Scholey, A., Su, K. P., Jacka, F.N. (2015). Nutritional Medicine as Mainstream in Psychiatry: A Consensus Position Statement from The International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research (ISNPR). Lancet Psychiatry, 2, 271-274. http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpsy/article/PIIS2215-0366(14)00051-0/abstract

Rucklidge, J.J., Kaplan, B. J., & Mulder, R. (2015). What if nutrients could treat mental illness? (Debate). Australia and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 49(5), 407-408. DOI: 10.1177/0004867414565482 http://anp.sagepub.com/content/49/5/407.full.pdf+html

Sarris. J., Logan, A. C., Akbaraly, T.N., Amminger, G.P., Balanzá-Martínez, V., Freeman, M.P., Hibbeln, J., Matsuoka, Y., Mischoulon, D., Mizoue, T., Nanri, A., Nishi, D., Parletta, N., Ramsey, D., Rucklidge, J.J., Sanchez-Villegas, A., Scholey, A., Su, C., Jacka, F.N. (2015). The International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research (ISNPR) Consensus Position Statement: Nutritional Medicine in Modern Psychiatry (letter to editor). World Psychiatry 14(3), 370-371. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/wps.20223/abstract

Romijn, A. R., & Rucklidge, J. J. (2015). Systematic review of evidence to support the theory of psychobiotics. Nutrition Reviews, 73(10):675-93. doi: 10.1093/nutrit/nuv025 http://nutritionreviews.oxfordjournals.org/content/nutritionreviews/early/2015/09/12/nutrit.nuv025.full.pdf

Kaplan, B. J., Rucklidge, J. J., Romijn, A. R., & Dolph, M. (2015). A randomized trial of nutrient supplements to minimize psychological stress after a natural disaster. Psychiatry Research, 228, 373-379. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26154816

Gordon, H. A., Rucklidge, J. J., Blampied, N. M., & Johnstone, J. M. (2015). Clinically Significant Symptom Reduction in Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Treated with Micronutrients: An Open-Label Reversal Design Study. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, 25(10), 783-798. doi: 10.1089/cap.2015.0105

Rucklidge, J. J., Frampton, C., Gorman, B., & Boggis, A. (Letter to the editor) (2015). Reply to Tondo: Do micronutrients help in ADHD? British Journal of Psychiatry, 207(5), 460. http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/207/5/460.1

Rucklidge, J. J., & Mulder, R. T. (2015). Could nutrition help behaviours associated with personality disorders? A narrative review. Personality and Mental Health. doi: 10.1002/pmh.1325 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pmh.1325/epdf

Rucklidge, J.J., Blampied, N., Gorman, B., Gordon, H., & Sole, E. (2014). Psychological functioning one year after a brief intervention using micronutrients to treat stress and anxiety related to the 2011 Christchurch earthquakes: A naturalistic follow-up. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental, 29(3), 230-243.

Rucklidge, J.J., Downs-Woolley, M., Taylor, M., Brown, J.A., & Harrow, S.E. (2014). Psychiatric comorbidities in a New Zealand sample of adults with ADHD. Journal of attention disorders, 1087054714529457.

Rucklidge, J.J., Frampton, C., Gorman, B., & Boggis, A. (2014). Vitamin-mineral treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in adults: double-blind randomised placebo-controlled trial. The British Journal of Psychiatry,204(4), 306-315

Rucklidge, J.J., Harris, A., & Shaw, I. (2014). Are the amounts of vitamins in commercially available dietary supplement formulations relevant for the management of psychiatric disorders in children? New Zealand Journal of Medicine, 127, 73-85.

Rucklidge, J.J., Johnstone, J., Gorman, B., & Boggis, A., & Frampton, C. (2014). Moderators of treatment response in adults with ADHD to micronutrients: demographics and biomarkers. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 50, 163–171.

Rucklidge, J.J., & Kaplan, B.J. (2014). Broad-spectrum micronutrient treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: rationale and evidence to date. CNS drugs, 28(9), 775-785.
Taylor, M.R., Boden, J.M., & Rucklidge, J.J. (2014). The relationship between ADHD symptomatology and self-harm, suicidal ideation, and suicidal behaviours in adults: a pilot study. ADHD Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorders, 6(4), 303-312.

Harrison, R., Rucklidge, J.J., & Blampied, N. (2013). Use of micronutrients attenuates cannabis and nicotine abuse as evidenced from a reversal design: A case study. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 45(2), 1-11.

Kaplan, B.J., Nikkel, G., Nikkel, B., Rucklidge, J.J. (Jan 9, 2013). Keeping Academic Psychiatry Relevant. British Journal of Psychiatry (letter). http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/201/6/421/reply#bjprcpsych_el_53864

Rucklidge, J.J. (2013). Could yeast infections impair recovery from mental illness? A case study using micronutrients and olive leaf extract for the treatment of ADHD and depression. Advances in Mind-Body Medicine, 27(3), 14-18.

Rucklidge, J.J., Johnstone, J., & Kaplan, B.J. (2013). Single bullet madness - why do we continue to perpetuate this fallacy? (letter). British Journal of Psychiatry, 203, 154-155. http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/202/6/398/reply#bjprcpsych_el_54588

Rucklidge, J.J., & Kaplan, B.J. (2013). Broad-spectrum micronutrient formulas for the treatment psychiatric symptoms: A systematic review. Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, 13(1), 49-73.

Rucklidge, J.J., Andridge, R., Gorman, B., Blampied, N., Gordon, H. & Boggis, A. (2012). Shaken but unstirred? Effects of micronutrients on stress and trauma after an earthquake: RCT evidence comparing formulas and doses. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental, 27(5), 440-454.

Rucklidge, J.J., & Blampied, N.M. (2011). Post earthquake functioning in adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Positive effects of micronutrients on resilience. New Zealand Journal of Psychology, 40(4), 51-57.

Rucklidge, J.J., Johnstone, J., Harrison, R. (2011). Effect of micronutrients on neurocognitive functioning in adults with ADHD and Severe Mood Dysregulation: A pilot study. Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 17(12), 1-7.

Rucklidge, J.J., Johnstone, J., Harrison, R., & Boggis, A. (2011). Micronutrients reduce stress and anxiety following a 7.1 earthquake in adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Psychiatry Research, 189, 281-287. . doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2011.06.016.

Rucklidge, J.J., Taylor, M.R., Whitehead, K.A. (2011). Effect of micronutrients on behaviour and mood in adults with ADHD: Evidence from an 8-week open label trial with natural extension. Journal of Attention Disorders, 15(1), 79-91.

Rucklidge, J.J., Gately, D., & Kaplan, B.J. (2010). Database Analysis of Children and Adolescents with Bipolar Disorder Consuming a Micronutrient Formula. BMC Psychiatry, 10, 17. http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-244X/10/74

Rucklidge, J.J., & Harrison, R. (2010). Successful treatment of Bipolar Disorder II and ADHD with a micronutrient formula: A case study. CNS Spectrums, 15(5): 289-295.

Gardner, A., Kaplan, B.J., Rucklidge, J.J., Jonsson, B.H., & Humble, M.B. (2010). The potential of nutritional therapy. Science (letter), 327, 268.

Rucklidge, J.J. (2009). Successful treatment of OCD with a micronutrient formula following partial response to CBT: A case study. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 23: 836–840.

Rucklidge, J.J., Johnstone, J., & Kaplan, B.J. (2009). Nutrient supplementation approaches in the treatment of ADHD. Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, 9(4), 461-476.

Resources and useful links

Many people end up at our website because they are seeking help for their psychological problems. We have put together some information on services available in Christchurch in the hope that this may be assistance to you in the search for assistance with problems. We do not endorse any of these services but we do hope they may be of help. Services do change and move over time and so our apologies if some of the links no longer work. It is hard for us to keep up with all changes!

Lifeline Aotearoa

A free and confidential crisis helpline service, providing brief intervention counselling support for all areas of concern, for example: relationships, employment, finances, abuse, suicide, parenting, sexual identity, substance abuse, mental illnesses, loneliness.

Phone: 03 366 6742
Email: lifelinechristchurch@lifeline.org.nz

Depression Helpline

A free 24/7 helpline for those feeling low in mood or anxious.

Phone: 0800 111 757
Text: 4202

Samaritans

24/7 confidential and non-judgemental support to anyone who is lonely or in emotional distress.
Phone: 0800 726 666.

Crisis Resolution (previously Psychiatric Emergency Services)

Crisis Resolution (CR) offers after hours and urgent psychiatric assistance. CR is an integral part of each Adult Community Mental Health Team providing 24 hour advice and assessment for people presenting in crisis which is associated with a known or suspected mental health problem.
Address: Hillmorton Hospital, Fergusson Building or Christchurch Hospital (after hours), Christchurch

Phone: 03 364 0482

Warmline Canterbury

Mental health peer support telephone service available throughout the Canterbury District Health Board areas. Our telephone peer supporters have all had personal experience of mental illness and provide non-crisis confidential support.

Phone: 03 379 8415
Email warmline@comcare.org.nz

Petersgate Counselling Centre

Provides low-cost professional supervision and counselling, especially to those who can least afford these services.

Address: 29 Yaldhurst Road, Christchurch, 8041
Phone: 03 343 3391
Email: director@petersgate.org.nz

Catholic Social Services

Free services including professional counselling for individuals, couples, families and young persons; family work; group courses for children and adults; budgeting/advocacy and food bank services; also free counselling for earthquake trauma.

Address: 336 Cashel Street, Christchurch, 8140
Phone: 03 379 0012
Email: c.s.s@clear.net.nz

Home and Family Counselling

Offers professional counselling and psychotherapy, creating environments for positive change and enabling people to overcome difficulties and achieve emotional well-being.

Address: 76 Thackeray Street, Waltham, Christchurch, 8023
Phone: 03 944 0635
Email: contact@homeandfamily.net.nz

Women's Centre

Free counselling service - up to 20 sessions per client. Counsellors (some are fully qualified and some are students on placement) deal with a wide range of issues. Appointments are essential. The women’s centre also provides a wide range of other services.

Address: Unit3/242 Ferry Road, Waltham, Christchurch, 8011
Phone: 03 371 7414
Email: admin@womenscentre.co.nz

Canterbury Men's Centre

Give men time to talk about what they are dealing with and come up with a plan. That plan could involve anything from seeing a counsellor, rushing you to some emergency support, or planning a fishing trip with a friend.

Address: 357 Gloucester Street, Linwood, Christchurch, 8011
Phone: 03 365 9000
Email: info@canmen.org.nz

Father and Child Trust

We offer information and support for all dads. Special programmes available for teen dads or new fathers including ‘Discovering Fatherhood’, ‘Father and Child’ magazine and ‘Why Dads?’ booklets.

Address: 357 Gloucester St, Christchurch, 8148
Phone: 03 982 2440
Email: info@fatherandchild.org.nz

Oxford Community Trust

Provides local information and resources for the people of the Oxford District including counselling services.
Address: 37 Main Street, Oxford, North Canterbury, 7430
Phone: 03 312 3006
Email: admin@oxfordtrust.co.nz

Te Whare Awhero (Hope House)

Te Whare Awhero Hope House is a faith based organisation, a division of the Hope Presbyterian Church in Hornby, providing community based services at the grassroots to bring hope. The activities we undertake include, community development projects, counselling, practical support, mentoring, community based research and spiritual direction.

Address: 36 Amyes Road, Christchurch, 8042
Phone: 03 967 4673
Email: admin@hopecentre.net.nz

Community Youth Mental Health Service

Brief intervention of up to six sessions for youth aged 13-18 years with mild-moderate mental health and/or alcohol and drug issues.

Address: 98 Greers Rd, Burnside, Christchurch 8053.
Phone: 03 281 7618
Email: cymhservice@xtra.co.nz

Child, Adolescent and Family Outpatient Mental Health Services - CAFLINK

Address: The Princess Margaret Hospital, PO Box 800, Christchurch
Phone: 0800 218 219 or 03 337 7758
Email: caflink@cdhb.health.nz

PND Canterbury - Postnatal Depression Family/Whanau NZ Trust

Support group for Canterbury mums and children under five years of age, experiencing Postnatal Depression (PND) or related anxiety disorders. The group is facilitated by a Mum who has “been there” and has a passion for PND and a team of volunteers to look after babies and pre-schoolers. We provide a safe environment for Mums to meet other mums, to learn about what tools they might find helpful on their journey and encourage friendship. We meet Thursdays (except school holidays) 12.30pm to 2.00pm. Registration is important as we have a set number per group and often have a waiting list. Cost: Gold coin donation.

Phone: 021 131 4352
Email supportgroup@pndcanterbury.co.nz

Pregnancy Help Inc Canterbury

We run a weekly Depression Support Drop In on Thursdays, with lunch provided, during term time from 10am – 12 midday. We have a comprehensive range of information about services in Christchurch and a small library of pregnancy and parenting books.

Address: 349 Woodham Road, Christchurch, 8642
Phone: 03 385 0556
Email canterbury@pregnancyhelp.org.nz

Mothers Supporting Mothers

To contribute to the well-being and self-sufficiency of mothers and consequently their families in North Canterbury, by providing support for women with postnatal depression; help with and prevention of postnatal depression; increase awareness of issues involved in adjusting to parenthood; skilled facilitators for group meetings and individual counselling; facilities for women to meet with freedom from childcare

Address: Rangiora & Kaiapoi
Phone: 03 312 9787 (Chris) 027 651 4854 (Frances)
Email info@motherssupportingmothers.org.nz

Mental Health Advocacy and Peer Support Services (MHAPS)

Peer support: For people who are experiencing mental distress, substance addiction and/or mental illness, including anxiety, bipolar disorder and/or depression. Peer support groups: For people who would like to meet others for support with recovery strategies.

Address: 826 Colombo Street (cnr Peterborough), Christchurch, 8244
Phone: 03 365 9479
Email: reception@mhaps.org.nz

Depression Support Network

Providing community support services for the people of Canterbury whose lives are adversely affected by depression, including group support, one to one support, resource information and education courses.

Address: Community House, 301 Tuam Street, Christchurch, 8011
Phone: 03 366 8083
Email: bryon@dsn.org.nz

Christchurch Public Hospital Sleep Disorders Services

Phone: 03 364 1089

Sleep Apnoea Association of NZ Inc.

Address: PO Box 88, Hamilton 3240.
Phone: 07 858-4378
Email: saanz.secretary@gmail.com

Sleep Well Clinic

Dr Alex Bartle and his team of health professionals at the Sleep Well Clinic provide comprehensive assessment and treatment services throughout New Zealand for children and adults suffering sleep disorders such as snoring, sleep Apnoea, Insomnia, and Parasomnias.

Address: Unit 6/10 Acheron drive, Middleton, Christchurch.
Phone: 03 341 8903
Email: doctor@sleepwellclinic.co.nz

Cansleep

Cansleep is a Christchurch-based provider of Sleep Medicine diagnostics and therapeutics. They offer a comprehensive service of the highest quality, which incorporates specialist clinical assessment and state-of-the-art sleep studies through to provision of therapy and long-term follow-up.

Address: First floor, 9 Caledonian road, Christchurch.
Phone: (03) 3795060
Email: cansleep@xtra.co.nz

Pregnancy Centre

We support and care for all woman facing an unplanned or crisis-pregnancy, offering a listening ear and practical support as you navigate your way through what can be an extremely difficult and emotionally demanding situation. Our caring team is ready to provide support and someone to talk to, and our help is free and totally confidential and without judgement. The Pregnancy Centre is run by a team of Catholics committed to helping any woman, couple or family who is alone, scared or uncertain about their pregnancy.

Address: 88 Idris Road, Bryndwr, Christchurch, 8052
Phone: 0508here4u or 03 351 3227
Email: pregcentrechch@xtra.co.nz

We are not dieticians and therefore are not in a position to offer dietary advice. However, we have put together some resources on food and local expertise in the hope that this information will be of use to the public.

Harvard Medical School has put together lots of resources on healthy eating, including the healthy eating plate: www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/healthy-eating-plate

The Helfimed trial was a successful trial that showed benefit of assisting people suffering from depression to nudge over to a more Mediterranean-based diet. They have lots of recipes on their website: http://helfimed.org/cgi-sys/suspendedpage.cgi

The Mood and Food Centre in Melbourne often blogs on diet-related topics. Check out their website: http://foodandmoodcentre.com.au/

Dr Drew Ramsey has some excellent resources on eating well on a budget: https://drewramseymd.com/uncategorized/brain-food-budget/

There are lots of great resources at this site: https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/freedownloads.htm

Books that we have enjoyed reading on nutrition and mental health that do have some scientific basis to their recommendations:

  • Finally Focused – Dr James Greenblatt
  • The Mad Diet – Suzanne Lockhart
  • The anti-anxiety food solution –Trudy Scott
  • What the FAT? - Prof Grant Schofield (also includes recipes)

Rachel Kelly has devised a cookbook directly focused on eating foods that will contain nutrients help you feel mentally better:

https://www.rachel-kelly.net/books-apps/

How to eat well on a budget:

From the British Dietetic Association: A healthy diet can be more expensive than a diet made up of more refined foods. Fish, fruit and vegetables can be particularly pricey. However, by cutting down on sugary drinks and snacks, takeaways and alcohol, you can save money to be spent on healthier items. Take care to buy only as much as you know you can use within the next few days to reduce waste. You can also cut your costs by taking advantage of special promotions and by shopping at market stalls which are often cheaper than supermarkets.

If you live alone you could save money by splitting purchases with friends (larger pack sizes are usually cheaper) or by cooking several portions of a dish and freezing some of them. This also saves fuel and saves you the effort of preparing meals every day. Frozen fruit and vegetables are often cheaper than fresh produce and are usually just as good nutritionally (with no wastage). Fresh fruit and vegetables are usually cheapest when they are in season while using beans, lentils and soy mince in cooking in place of meat can also cut costs.

Also, research from Australia has shown that a Mediterranean style diet was cheaper than a poor quality diet.

Dirty dozen and clean 15:

https://www.elizabethrider.com/dirty-dozen-clean-15/

Dieticians in Christchurch:

https://www.dietaryspecialists.co.nz/

Products/research programme contact

For further information about the products we use or about our research programme, or to reach any of the researchers in the lab who are currently running studies:

Phone: +64 (03) 369 2386
Internal phone: 92386
Email: mentalhealthnutrition@canterbury.ac.nz

Address (Postal)

Mental Health and Nutrition Research Group
Department of Psychology
University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand

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