Te Puna Toiora: Mental Health and Nutrition Research

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

About us

Meet the team

Julia Rucklidge

Julia is a Professor of Clinical Psychology in the School of Psychology, Speech and Hearing, and the Director of the Mental Health and Nutrition Research Lab. 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 School of Psychology, Speech and Hearing where she teaches about child psychology in the Clinical Psychology Programme.
Over the last fifteen years, Professor Rucklidge has become well known for her research investigating the interface between nutrition and mental health, and has published over 140 scientific papers. Julia is also the recipient of numerous local and international awards, including named as one of the top 100 influential women in New Zealand in 2015 and 2018, the Ballin Award in 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, and a Braveheart award in 2018 for her contribution to making Christchurch a better place to live. She is also frequently featured in the media discussing her work. Her 2014 TEDx talk has been viewed over 1.7 million times. She recently created a free EdX online course for the public on mental health and nutrition. Having witnessed conventional treatments failing so many people, Julia is passionate about helping people find alternative treatments for their psychiatric symptoms. Through her focus on translating research into practice, she hopes to help make nutritional interventions mainstream.

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.

Neville M Blampied

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.

Meredith Blampied

Meredith is a PhD candidate within the Mental Health and Nutrition Research Lab. 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.

Hayley Bradley portrait

Hayley is a PhD student within the Mental Health and Nutrition Research Lab 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.

Siobhan Campbell portrait

Siobhan is a PhD student within Te Puna Toiora, the Mental Health and Nutrition Research Lab. 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.

Aaron Stevens

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 Lab to investigate whether nutritional supplementation with micronutrients can influence these key aspects of human health.​

For more information on Aaron's research:

psychology student nurina katta

Nurina is a Masters student within Te Puna Toiora at the University of Canterbury. She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Brussels, Belgium, and a Postgraduate Diploma of Science from the University of Canterbury (UC).

Nurina is passionate about the effects that nutrition has on the brain. As part of her Masters thesis, she is investigating the effects of a micronutrient formula on stress in undergraduate UC students. Nurina is excited to be involved in the first independent, double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized controlled trial that explores the effectiveness of a new modality of micronutrients. The product tested in her research are powdered candy straws containing the micronutrients, and Nurina hopes that her study will add to the research on nutrition and psychological wellbeing.

Angela Sherwin, HAPI Trial, SPSH 

Angela is a PhD candidate with Te Puna Toiora, the Mental Health and Nutrition Research Lab at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand.  As a mature student, Angela came back to study, after a career in broadcast media, with the aim of gaining a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Psychology.  Enjoying the process of study, Angela quickly chose to do a double major in Psychology and Biology, topping that off with First-Class Honours in Psychology. 

During her Honours year, Angela became aware of a urinary component purportedly involved in mental health disturbance; with little research to back up its genesis and function.  A biological component with a psychological outcome - a perfect match to ignite Angela’s curiosity. 

A large part of her PhD will be a double-blind, randomised, controlled trial investigating treatment of anxious participants using high doses of zinc and vitamin B6.  Angela will also work to accurately measure 3-ethyl-5-hydroxy-4,5-dimethyl-1,5-dihydro-2h-pyrrole-2-one, the urinary component apparently implicated in mental health disturbance, historically known as HPL.  The two parts of the trial will them come together to determine whether-or-not zinc and B6 supplementation can improve anxiety, whether-or-not HPL can be used as a predictor of anxiety, and whether-or-not levels of zinc and B6 in urine correlate with urinary levels of HPL.

  • Taryn Hale
  • Dr Pip Reihana
  • Dr Hāna 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
  • Dr Kathryn Darling

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 Health and Disabilities 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. 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

Warren, B., Sarris, S., Mulder, R. T. & Rucklidge, J. J. (2021) Pyroluria: Fact or Fiction. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

Rucklidge, J. J., Afzali, M. U., Kaplan, B. J., Bhattacharya, O., Blampied, F. M., Mulder, R. T., & Blampied, N. M. (2021). Massacre, Earthquake, Flood: Massacre, Earthquake, Flood: Translational science evidence that the use of micronutrients post-disaster reduces the risk of post-traumatic stress in survivors of disasters. International Perspectives in Psychology, 10(1), 39-54. https://doi.org/10.1027/2157-3891/a000003

Rucklidge, J. J., Johnstone, J. J., & Kaplan, B. J. (2021). Nutrition is an essential foundation for optimizing mental health. Evidence Based Practice in Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 6(1), 131-154. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23794925.2021.1875342

Rucklidge, J. J., Eggleston, M. J. F., Boggis, A., Darling, K. A., Gorman, B. & Frampton, C. M. (2020). Do changes in blood nutrient levels mediate treatment response in children and adults with ADHD consuming a vitamin-mineral supplement? Journal of Attention Disorders. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31707909?dopt=Abstract

Retallick-Brown, H., Blampied, N., & Rucklidge, J. J. (2020). A Pilot Randomized Treatment-Controlled Trial Comparing Vitamin B6 with Broad-Spectrum Micronutrients for Premenstrual Syndrome. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. doi:10.1089/acm.2019.0305. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31928364

Perham, J. C., Shaikh, N. I., Lee, A., Darling, K. A., & Rucklidge, J. J. (2020). Toward ‘element balance’ in ADHD: an exploratory case control study employing hair analysis. Nutritional Neuroscience, 1-11. doi:10.1080/1028415X.2019.1707395 https://doi.org/10.1080/1028415X.2019.1707395.

Blampied, N. M., Mulder, R. T., Afzali, M. U., Bhattacharya, O., Blampied, M. F., & Rucklidge, J. J. (2020). Disasters, Policies and Micronutrients: The intersect among ethics, evidence and effective action. New Zealand Medical Journal, 133. http://www.nzma.org.nz/journal/read-the-journal/all-issues/2010-2019/2020/vol-133-no-1508-17-january-2020/8088

Blampied, M., Bell, C., Gilbert, C., & Rucklidge, J. J. (2020). Broad spectrum micronutrient formulas for the treatment of symptoms of depression, stress and/or anxiety: a systematic review. Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, 20 (4), 351–371. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14737175.2020.1740595

Bradley, H. A., Campbell, S., Mulder, R. T., Henderson, J., Dixon, L., Boden, J., & Rucklidge, J. J. (2020). Can micronutrients treat symptoms of antenatal depression and anxiety and impact infant development? Study protocol for the efficacy and safety of a double blind, randomized, placebo controlled trial (the ‘NUTRIMUM” trial) BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 20 (1), 488. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7448485/pdf/12884_2020_Article_3143.pdf

Johnstone, J., Hughes, A., Goldenberg, J. Z., Romijn, A. R., & Rucklidge, J. J. (2020). Multinutrients for the Treatment of Psychiatric Symptoms in Clinical Samples: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Nutrients, 12(11). https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12113394

    Rucklidge, J., Eggleston, M., Johnstone, J. M., Darling, K., Stevens, A. J., Kennedy, M. A., & Frampton, C. M. (2019). Can we predict treatment response in children with ADHD to a vitamin-mineral supplement? An investigation into pre-treatment nutrient serum levels, MTHFR status, clinical correlates and demographic variables. Progress in Neuropsychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 89, 181-192. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S027858461830407X?via%3Dihub

    Broom, G. M., Shaw, I. C., & Rucklidge, J. J. (2019). The Ketogenic Diet as a Potential Treatment and Prevention Strategy for Alzheimer’s Disease. Nutrition, 60, 118-121. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0899900718302764?via%3Dihub

    Borlase, N., Melzer, T. R., Eggleston, M. J. F., Darling, K. A., & Rucklidge, J. J. (2019). Resting-state networks and neurometabolites in children with ADHD after 10 weeks of treatment with micronutrients: results of a randomised placebo-controlled trial. Nutritional Neuroscience, 1-11. doi:10.1080/1028415X.2019.1574329 https://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/DZQIek94uJH6XdZywxkv/full?target=10.1080/1028415X.2019.1574329

    Rucklidge, J. J., Eggleston, M. J. F., Ealam, B., Beaglehole, B., & Mulder, R. T. (2019). An Observational Preliminary Study on the Safety of Long-Term Consumption of Micronutrients for the Treatment of Psychiatric Symptoms. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2018.0352

    Rucklidge, J. J. (2019). Exposure to green spaces as a modifiable risk factor in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. The Lancet Planetary Health, 3(5), e200-e201. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/S2542-5196(19)30074-9

    Stevens, A. J., Purcell, R. V., Darling, K. A., Eggleston, M. J. F., Kennedy, M. A., & Rucklidge, J. J. (2019). Human gut microbiome changes during a 10 week Randomised Control Trial for micronutrient supplementation in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Scientific Reports, 9(1), 10128. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-46146-3 https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-46146-3

    Rucklidge, J. J., & Richardson, A. J. (2019). Multinutrient Supplementation for Prevention of Major Depressive Disorder in Overweight AdultsMultinutrient Supplementation and Major Depressive Disorder in Overweight Adults. Letters. JAMA, 322(4), 366-366. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.6467

    Darling, K. A., Eggleston, M. J. F., Retallick-Brown, H., & Rucklidge, J. J. (2019). Mineral-vitamin treatment associated with remission in ADHD symptoms and related problems: One year naturalistic outcomes of a 10 week randomized placebo-controlled trial. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/cap.2019.0036?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub%3dpubmed

    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
    Stevens, A., Rucklidge, J. J., Eggleston, M., Darling, K., & Kennedy, M. (2018). Methylomic changes in response to micronutrient supplementation and MTHFR genotype. Epigenomics, 10(8), 1201-1214. https://www.futuremedicine.com/doi/10.2217/epi-2018-0029
    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., Taylor, M. R., & Johnstone, J. (2018). Does diet and nutrition affect ADHD? Facts and clinical considerations for psychiatrists. Psychiatric Times, 35 (9).http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/special-reports/do-diet-and-nutrition-affect-adhd-facts-and-clinical-considerations
    Reihana, P. K., Blampied, N. M., & Rucklidge, J. J. (2018). Novel Mineral-Vitamin Treatment for Reduction in Cigarette Smoking: A Fully-Blinded Randomized Placebo-controlled Trial. Nicotine & Tobacco Research. https://academic.oup.com/ntr/advance-article/doi/10.1093/ntr/nty168/5078611?guestAccessKey=6b2dd9ba-dde5-436d-89ee-42ed86587a7e
    Taylor, M.R., Chuang, C., Carrasco, K.D., Rucklidge, J. J. (2018). Dietary and Micronutrient Treatments for Children with Neurodevelopment Disorders. Current Developmental Disorders Reports. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40474-018-0150-5?wt_mc=Internal.Event.1.SEM.ArticleAuthorOnlineFirst&utm_source=ArticleAuthorOnlineFirst&utm_medium=email&utm_content=AA_en_06082018&ArticleAuthorOnlineFirst_20180916
    Bloom, G. M., Shaw, I. C., & Rucklidge, J. J. (2018). The Ketogenic Diet as a Potential Treatment and Prevention Strategy for Alzheimer’s Disease. Nutrition. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0899900718302764?via%3Dihub

    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 of assistance to you. 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!


    Pregnancy related helplines

    Pregnancy Counselling

    24/7 support for pregnancy, postr abortion and miscarriage support/advice. Mens page can be accessed through website. Face-to-face counselling is provided in most areas around NZ.

    Phone: 0800 773 462

    Pregnancy Help

    Practical assistance, information and advice during pregnancy and early childhood. Email request help form online. Branches nationwide. Each location on the website has hours, contact numbers and email addresses. Hours vary between branches. Refer website.

    Parent Help

    9am-9pm 7 days. Provided help for parents with all parenting challenges.

    Phone: 0800 568 856


    Parenting support, information, home and clinic visits, mobile clinics. Website provided useful information and resources.

    Phone: 0800 933 922

    Miscarriage support

    Provides information, resources and support for bereaved parents. Can also provide referrals to counselling services.

    Phone: 0508 72 63 72

    Emotional support

    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

    Anxiety Helpline

    Phone: 0800 269 4389 (0800 ANXIETY)

    Need to talk

    24/7 helpline staffed by trained counsellors provided support for emotional distress

    Phone: 0800 1737 1737
    Text: 1737


    24/7 confidential and non-judgemental support to anyone who is lonely or in emotional distress.

    Phone: 0800 726 666.


    A free 24/7 Helpline providing emotional support for young people.

    Phone: 0800 376 633
    Text: 234

    Resources can also be accessed from the website.

    Sexual harm

    Safe to talk

    24/7 helpline providing access to trained specialist who can provide information and guidance on questions about sexual harm and related medical, emotional, and behavioural issues

    Phone: 0800 044 334
    Text: 4334


    9am – 11pm 7 days. Domestic abuse helpline

    Phone: 0508 744 633

    Women’s refuge crisis line

    24/7 line for women living with violence, or in fear in their relationship or family

    Phone: 0800 733 843 (0800 REFUGE)

    Local contact numbers for refuges can be accessed from:

    Health issues and advice


    24/7 helpline staffed by registered nurses who can offer health advice. Interpreters available.

    Phone: 0800 611 116

    Alcohol & Drug Helpline

    Phone: 0800 787 797
    Text: 86181


    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

    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

    Christchurch CAT team

    0800 920 092 (operating 24/7)

    South Canterbury

    South Canterbury CAT team

    0800 277 997

    West Coast

    West coast CAT team

    0800 757 678 (operating 24/7)



    7pm-1 am Tuesday to Sunday

    Phone: 0800 200 207

    CAT team

    Te Haika 0800 745 477 (operating 24/7)



    Phone: 0508 927 654

    Mental Health Crisis Team

    0800 800 717 (operating 24/7)

    Other areas

    Click here to find your local crisis team.


    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

    Positive Psychology & Psychotherapy

    We offer professional counselling, psychotherapy, and psychology services to children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families. We have a limited number of appointments we offer at a reduced rate for full-time UC students (individual adult psychotherapy and counselling only). We also offer animal-assisted therapy.

    Address: 14 Pentre Terrace, Cashmere, Christchurch
    Phone: 03 421 1926
    Email: info@positiverelationships.co.nz


    Dayspring Trust

    Address: 2 Seabrook Avenue, New Lynn, Auckland 0600
    Phone (09) 827-6321
    Email: info@dayspring.co.nz

    Regions Serviced: North Shore/Waitakere

    Dayspring Offers: Maternal Mental Health Community Support Services; Secure Beginnings- home based early intervention attachment service; Supported Landlord Services; Counselling Services

    Dr Kelly Kerrisk

    DClinPsych, BA (Hons), MNZCCP

    Clinical Psychologist

    Kelly works from practice rooms in Titirangi, and also in Meadowbank, Auckland.

    Mobile: 021 032 8020
    Email: drkellykerrisk@gmail.com

    Kelly is an experienced Clinical Psychologist who is passionate about supporting women and families experiencing depression and anxiety during and after pregnancy, Post Traumatic Stress / Birth Trauma, and difficulties with attachment and the adjustment to parenthood. She draws on a range of therapeutic approaches including CBT, ACT, and Mindfulness as part of tailoring her approach to meeting the needs of each individual and family.


    Dr Missy Wolfman (Clinical Psychologist)

    BA, BSc (Hons), Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology, PhD

    Email: EmpowermumsNZ@gmail.com
    Facebook page: www.facebook.com/EmpowermumsNZ 

    Empowermums is all about empowering you to thrive in motherhood, no matter where you are in your parenting journey. I offer individual therapy, public workshops and coffee-group talks. ‘Like’ my facebook page and receive daily tips and inspirations as well as updates on upcoming Empowermums events. I look forward to connecting with you!

    The Postnatal Distress Center

    Susan Goldstiver
    Address: Level 2, 300 Great South Rd, Greenlane Auckland
    PO Box 17489, Greenlane, 1546
    Phone: 09 8464978 or 021 333021

    Susan is passionate about and specialises in postnatal distress, which includes treatment and support with: antenatal and postnatal depression, antenatal and postnatal anxiety, panic attacks and OCD, post-traumatic stress after childbirth (birth trauma), attachment and bonding difficulties, and any struggle to adjust to parenthood for new mums and dads, including couples counselling.


    Specialist Maternal Mental Health

    Address: 21 Hania Street, Mt Victoria, Wellington.
    Phone: 04 801 2960

    Multidisciplinary team of mental health professionals including: Psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, psychiatric nurses, occupational therapist, infant psychotherapist, social worker.

    Little Shadow (formerly PND Wellington)

    Little Shadow offers counselling, support and information for those experiencing perinatal distress. We walk beside you in your journey, working collaboratively with health professionals and other organisations to help you on your journey to wellness.

    Address: Marion Square, Wellington 6141
    Phone: 04 472 3135
    Email: hello@littleshadow.org.nz

    Through Blue

    Supporting and education Women with experience of Depression

    Support groups in Wellington: Monday 6:30 – 8:30pm and every Friday 1:00 -3:00pm, in the central city.

    Email: throughbluenz@gmail.com

    Tend Psychology

    Dr Bronwyn Sweeney, Clinical Psychologist, Childbirth Educator.

    Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), compassion, mindfulness and positive psychology.

    Address: WellHub, Level 1, 82 Willis Street, Wellington, 6011


    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


    Well Women Franklin

    Well Women Franklin provides a free Peer Support Group to women and their families who are experiencing or are at risk of experiencing Ante Natal and/or Post Natal Distress.  They also assist women who are affected by other mental health disorders that are worsened during pregnancy and motherhood, including anxiety disorders and PTSD.

    This is a free group for women in the Franklin area.

    Phone: 021 1588 134
    Email: info@wellwomenfranklin.org.nz

    Sands support group - Grief Centre, Auckland

    At the Grief Centre, we provide support, advice & counselling to help those affected by grief and loss. The Death of a loved one shifts the whole foundation of our life. Nothing is as it was. Even what was most familiar, seems in a strange way unfamiliar. It is as though we have to learn a new language, a new way of being. Even the face in the mirror sometimes seems the face of a stranger. The Grief Centre offers Support Groups, and Training Courses.


    Sands Support Group - Grief Relief, Wellington/Hutt Valley

    Experienced and knowledgeable support for parents, families, whanau and others bereaved by the death of a child, of any age or gestation, from any cause, at any time, on any aspect. Support is available face-to-face locally or phone or skype nationally. Three sessions free for families in Wellington and Hutt Valley who used Harbour City, Wilson or Guardian Funeral Homes.

    Contact: Claire Laurenson at (04) 970-1222 or claire@griefrelief.co.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 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

    Perinatal Wellbeing Canterbury

    Erin – Facilitator/Secretary
    Phone: 021 131 4352
    Email: operations@perinatalwellbeing.org.nz

    Community support groups for mothers and primary caregivers suffering from PND and associated anxiety disorders.

    PIPS – Pregnancy Infancy Parenting Support (Formerly Pregnancy Help Canterbury)

    Providing free, non-judgmental, client-focused practical and emotional support during pregnancy and early parenting

    95 Hawke Street, New Brighton (entrance to the Old Central New Brighton School)
    Phone: 03 385 0556 or 022 530 2463

    Mothers and Babies Service

    Address: The Princess Margaret Hospital, Christchurch
    Phone: 03 337 7708

    Inpatient and outpatient service for mothers with a moderate to severe degree of mental or suspected mental illness. Referral acceptance in second trimester for baby up to 12 months of age.  Follow up to infant 12- 15 months of age.

    Canterbury Plunket Postnatal Adjustment Programme

    Address: 166 North Parade, Shirley, Christchurch 8061
    Phone: 03 3651 646
    Email: ppnap.canterbury@plunket.org.nz

    Assessment, liaison and education regarding postnatal depression.

    Canterbury Plunket Parent and Infant Relationship Service

    Address: 5 Twigger St, Addington, Christchurch 8141
    Phone:  021 408 940
    Email: ppairs.canterbury@plunket.org.nz

    Mothers Supporting Mothers

    Chris: 03 312 9787
    Frances: 03 327 3454
    Gabrielle: 027 306 9407

    Support group for mothers of babies and young children, run by professionals on Friday mornings, in the Rangiora Plunket Rooms, Rangiora, plus Friday afternoons at the Kaiapoi Plunket Rooms, Kaiapoi.

    Sands Canterbury (Christchurch)

    Sands New Zealand is a network of parent-run, non-profit groups supporting families who have experienced the death of a baby.

    Phone: Jackie 0274 491 019 / Karlena 347 4881

    Support Meetings: First Monday of every month (except January) from 7.30pm - 9.30pm, St James Church Hall, 750 Harewood Road (Airport End), Christchurch.

    We also offer support via phone, email, and Facebook.

    South Canterbury

    Timaru Plunket Family Centre

    Parenting support and groups for families in South Canterbury

    Services include: Parenting support; One on one assessment re feeding/sleeping/behaviour; Breast pump hire; Breastfeeding works group; Drop in during opening hours for feeding and changing

    Phone: 03 684 4967
    Address: 3 Dee Street, Timaru

    South Canterbury Plunket Postnatal Adjustment Programme

    A free programme to support South Canterbury families experiencing difficulty/distress adjusting to parenting, or who are experiencing postnatal depression.

    If you are having difficulty in adjusting to parenting , or feeling low in mood following your baby’s birth, PPNAP may be able to help.  We offer assessment at home, follow up home visits, phone support, and group programmes/mother to mother support.

    Ph: 03 684 4159
    Fax: 03 684 6646
    Address: 3 Dee Street, Timaru 7910
    Email: ppnap.southcanterbury@plunket.org.nz

    Timaru Psychiatric Service

    Address: Kensington Centre, Timaru

    Inpatient Team, Community Team, CAPS Team, A&OD Team; Moderate to severe mental illness; Relies on team members with interest in mothers and babies to maintain links with the South Island regional Team based in Christchurch; Postnatal Adjustment Programme

    Mothers Helpers

    Online PND Recovery Course – Mothers Helpers provides an online 10 week Perinatal Depression/Anxiety Recovery Course.  All mums who have completed the course can go on to have therapy with your facilitator – a registered/qualified counsellor, social worker, life coach or mental health nurse. Click here for more information about the course

    Phone:  0800 002 717  or  022 093 1822
    Email: info@mothershelpers.co.nz

    Sands Timaru

    Sands New Zealand is a network of parent-run, non-profit groups supporting families who have experienced the death of a baby.

    Contact: Sands Timaru & Districts
    Phone: 027 825 9406 - calls or texts welcome or Contact: Sam Joyce via email above

    Support Meetings: held when required

    West Coast

    Family Start Buller-Grey

    Address: 70 Bright Street, Cobden, Greymouth, 7802
    Email: beanel@familystart.co.nz
    Phone: 03 768 6568

    Family Start is a free and voluntary programme providing intensive on-going support in the areas of Health, Education and Welfare from the time of pregnancy up to 3-5 years of a child's life. Our focus is on child development, including delivering the Born to Learn programme that focuses on a child's development for their age group.

    Greymouth Parents Centre

    Address: Cnr Nelson and Shelley Streets, Greymouth, 7805
    Email: greymouth@parentscentre.org.nz
    Phone: 03 768 6136

    Parents Centre NZ offers a wide range of support networks for parenting with the prime service being childbirth education.  Internal supports are a priority for locally run committees which in turn ensures good quality support and education is available for parents within the community.

    Mothers Helpers

    Phone:  0800 002 717 or 022 093 1822
    Email: info@mothershelpers.co.nz

    Provide support to mothers experiencing ante-natal and postnatal anxiety and depression, also offer PND Recovery courses and follow-up counselling in 12 areas across the North Island as well as online.  These are delivered by qualified counsellors, social workers, life coaches or mental health nurses.

    PND Recovery Course – Mothers Helpers provides a 10 week Perinatal Depression/Anxiety Recovery Course.  All mums who have completed the course can go on to have therapy with your facilitator – a registered/qualified counsellor, social worker, life coach or mental health nurse.

    Sands Westport

    Sands New Zealand is a network of parent-run, non-profit groups supporting families who have experienced the death of a baby.

    Contact: Raewyn Johnson
    Phone: (03) 789 6857

    Support Meetings: On the first Monday of every month, from 1:30pm to 3pm, at "Number 37", 37 Peel Street, Westport.

    Sands Hokitika/Greymouth

    Sands New Zealand is a network of parent-run, non-profit groups supporting families who have experienced the death of a baby.

    Contact: Melanie Tarrant
    Phone: 027 752 8289

    Support Meetings: One on one, phone and email. Support meetings held 2nd Tuesday of every month 7-9pm. Please check our Sands Hokitika/Greymouth Facebook page for location details.


    Aronui Ora

    Auckland DHB, Maternal Mental Health

    Aronui Ora, Maternal Mental Health, Auckland District Health Board

    Address: 214 Greenlane West, Epsom, Auckland, 1051
    Phone: 0800 43 43 44 or (09) 623 4671 or extension 26740
    Email: maternalmh@adhb.govt.nz

    Aronui Ora (Cloak of wellbeing) was formerly named the Maternal Mental Health Service. Aronui Ora is a specialist adult mental health service.  The multi-disciplinary team is made up of mental health professionals from the disciplines of psychiatry, psychology, social work, occupational therapy and nursing.  There are team members with specialist knowledge in the area of infant care and attachment (promoting a secure parent and infant relationship).  The service provides antenatal (before birth) and postnatal (after birth) support in community, clinic and hospital settings. They offer a wide range of individual, group and family therapies and other targeted supports.

    Mothers Helpers

    Phone:  0800 002 717 or 022 093 1822
    Email: info@mothershelpers.co.nz

    Provide support to mothers experiencing ante-natal and postnatal anxiety and depression, also offer PND Recovery courses and follow-up counselling in 12 areas across the North Island as well as online.  These are delivered by qualified counsellors, social workers, life coaches or mental health nurses.

    PND Recovery Course – Mothers Helpers provides a 10 week Perinatal Depression/Anxiety Recovery Course.  All mums who have completed the course can go on to have therapy with your facilitator – a registered/qualified counsellor, social worker, life coach or mental health nurse.

    Breastfeeding Support - La Leche League Auckland Region

    Answerphone service - anytime. Or refer to the LLLNZ website for Group contact information
    Email: help@lalecheleague.org.nz

    Text only 020 4116 9994

    La Leche League (pronounced La Lay-chay) is a volunteer non-profit organisation which provides information and mother-to-mother support for women breastfeeding their babies or wanting to. We encourage women to contact us before their baby is born, as well as while they are breastfeeding. Support is available through group meetings, coffee groups, phone, Facebook and email.

    Pregnancy Centre

    Address: 13 Maidstone Street, Ponsonby, Auckland
    Phone: 09 361 4162

    Provides an impartial, client centred counselling service for women of all ages who have a crisis or unplanned pregnancy. Also post-termination and miscarriage counselling. Counsellors are professionally externally trained and supervised. 

    Locations: Central, North, South and West Auckland.

    Pregnancy Help Inc – Auckland

    Level 3, 33 Wyndham Street Wyndham Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland CBD, 1010
    Email: auckland@pregnancyhelp.org.nz
    Phone: 09 643447

    Pregnancy Help provides emotional and practical support for the well-being of pregnant and recently pregnant women, new mothers and their families/whanau.

    Central Auckland Parents Centre

    Email: enquiries@capc.org.nz

    Parents Centre NZ offers a wide range of support networks for parenting with the prime service being childbirth education and parenting education.  A locally run committee ensures good quality support and education is available for parents within the community.

    Family Life / Gianna's Choice Pregnancy Support

    Address: 569A Richardson Rd, Mt Roskill, Auckland, 1040
    Email: pregcentre@xtra.co.nz
    Phone: 0800 367 5433 (24/7)

    Offering confidential support to women experiencing a crisis or unexpected pregnancy. Support for parents after suffering the death of a baby through abortion, miscarriage and stillbirth. Providing Accredited Teachers of the Billings Method of Ovulation, a natural way to achieve or postpone pregnancy.  Offering someone caring and understanding to talk to about your situation.  Free practical support e.g. baby clothes & equipment and free medical guidance.

    Sands Auckland Central

    Sands New Zealand is a network of parent-run, non-profit groups supporting families who have experienced the death of a baby.

    Contact: Sara Lane for phone support.
    Tania Cornwall for email support and queries.
    Phone: 0508 SandsA (0508 72 63 72)
    Postal Address: PO Box 41 111, St Lukes, Auckland 1346

    Support Meetings: Support group meetings are held on the first Thursday evening of every month (no January meeting), 7:15pm-8:45pm in the Garlick Room (turn left at the reception desk), of the YMCA Mt Albert, 773 New North Road, Mt Albert.

    Sorry - there are no childcare facilities available, these meetings are for adults only.



    Address: 40 Mercer Street, Wellington

    Contact your nearest Plunket Office for information on local Plunket Clinics and services in your area, or visit www.plunket.org.nz PlunketLine support service available 24/7 freephone 0800 933 922

    Email: plunket@plunket.org.nz
    Phone: 04 471 0177

    Plunket believes in supporting the development of healthy families.  All families with children under age five are welcome to use Plunket services and more than ninety percent of New Zealand families choose to use Plunket to help them care for their young children.

    Pregnancy Counselling Services – Wellington

    Freephone number available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Text a counsellor 021 2898 727 (021 2TXTPCS) Email Enquiry Form is available on website. See Facebook counselling page on messenger.

    Email: pregnancycounselling.info@gmail.com
    Phone: 0800 77 34 62

    Free confidential 24 hour service for anyone involved in a worrying pregnancy or distressed after an abortion.

    Birth Wise Wellington Inc.

    Address: Hall Avenue, Newtown, Wellington, 6021
    Email: enquiries@birthwise.org.nz
    Phone: 027 375 1926

    Birth Wise offers an antenatal programme and parenting support groups.  Birth Wise promotes wellness in pregnancy, natural birth and holistic parenting by empowering women and men to make informed choices.

    Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Aotearoa (PADA)

    Address: 2129 Broderick Rd, Johnsonville, Wellington, 6037
    Email: office@pada.nz
    Phone: 04 461 6318

    Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Aotearoa (PADA) is an organisation that exists to improve outcomes for families and whanau affected by mental illness related to pregnancy, childbirth and early parenthood. The perinatal period is from pregnancy through to a child’s first year. Our aim is to eliminate stigma and facilitate best practice in order to ensure all families in New Zealand experience good perinatal mental health.  Anxiety and depression symptoms during this time frame range from thoughts of harming the baby and not being able to cope, through to suicide, child abuse and requiring psychiatric hospitalisation.

    Pregnancy Help Inc - Greater Wellington

    Address: 139b Main Road, Tawa, Wellington, 5028
    Email: greatwgtn@pregnancyhelp.org.nz
    Phone: 04 232 5740

    Pregnancy Help supports the wellbeing of pregnant and recently pregnant women, parents, caregivers and their families/whanau by providing information and practical support with Care, Concern and Confidentiality.

    Greenstone Doors

    Greenstone Doors is a Charitable Trust which functions as a pregnancy focused centre where women and whanau are able to receive accurate and professional information and care. Providing education, counselling, resources and support for women and their families during and after pregnancy through an independent network of counselling and support professionals.

    Address: 15 Dudley Street, Lower Hutt
    Phone: 04 566 5037
    Alternative Phone: 027 2549222 or 022 0395788 (Tues-Fri 10am-5pm)
    Email: info@greenstonedoors.co.nz

    Breastfeeding Support - La Leche League New Zealand

    Address: 16 Hagley Street, Porirua
    Email: administrator@lalecheleague.org.nz
    Phone: 04 471 0690

    La Leche League (pronounced La Lay-chay) is a volunteer non-profit organisation which provides information and mother-to-mother support for women breastfeeding their babies or wanting to. We encourage women to contact us before their baby is born, as well as while they are breastfeeding. Support is available through group meetings, coffee groups, phone, Facebook and email.

    Mana Parents Centre Inc.

    Address: 16 Hagley Street, Porirua, 5022
    Email: manapc@manapc.org.nz

    Mana Parents Centre offers a range of antenatal (Childbirth Education) and postnatal courses, as well as Parent Education and membership to families in the Tawa to Pukerua Bay area.

    Specialist Maternal Mental Health Service, Capital Coast District Health Board

    Mothers Helpers

    Phone: 0800 002 717 or 022 093 1822
    Email info@mothershelpers.co.nz

    Provide support to mothers experiencing ante-natal and postnatal anxiety and depression, also offer PND Recovery courses and follow-up counselling in 12 areas across the North Island as well as online.  These are delivered by qualified counsellors, social workers, life coaches or mental health nurses.

    Online PND Recovery Course – Mothers Helpers provides an online 10 week Perinatal Depression/Anxiety Recovery Course.  All mums who have completed the course can go on to have therapy with your facilitator – a registered/qualified counsellor, social worker, life coach or mental health nurse.

    Sands Wellington

    Phone: 022 398 3917
    Email: sandswgtnhutt@gmail.com

    Support Meetings: First Wednesday of each month (except January), from 7:30pm

    Plunket Family Rooms, Rotoiti Street, Johnsonville

    Also in Lower Hutt - Third Wednesday of the month from 7:30pm, Alicetown Community Centre, 38 Victoria Street, Alicetown

    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:


    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:


    Dieticians in Christchurch:


    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

    Link to ResearchGate

    Address (Postal)

    Mental Health and Nutrition Research Lab
    School of Psychology, Speech and Hearing
    University of Canterbury
    Private Bag 4800
    Christchurch 8140
    New Zealand

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