Free or Low-cost Counselling

Need to talk?

Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor. Need to talk 1737 is a new free 24/7 four digit phone and text number funded by the Ministry of Health that will make it easier for people to connect with mental health and addictions professionals.

  • Is an easy to remember, convenient number
  • people can use to access mental health and addictions advice and support through the National Telehealth Service.
  • The same trained mental health and addictions trained counsellors who currently respond to calls, texts, webchat and emails across the existing National Telehealth Service mental health helplines (depression helpline, gambling helpline, alcohol drug helpline) will support people who call or text 1737.

Funding sources

Work and Income Funding (WINZ)

If you are a student, on a benefit or a low income you may be eligible for a Work and Income (WINZ) allowance that provides a subsidy of up to $61.69 a session. You will need a doctors recommendation - contact WINZ for more details.

ACC Funding

ACC (Accident Compensation Corporation) will fund some counselling or psychotherapy, particularly that relating to physical injury, sexual abuse, or sexual assault. Contact either ACC Sensitive Claims or an ACC registered counsellor.

Employer Funding

New Zealand law recognises workplace stress as a workplace hazard; consequently many employers have EAP (Employee Assistance Programmes) that will pay a for some free counselling sessions for both workplace or personal issues. Normally this needs to arranged via your human resources (HR) department.

Other free or low-cost services

Discounted counselling services

Where finances are a serious issue our therapists will do their best to find a way to help you. Where applicable this may include:

  • suggesting funding sources
  • reducing their fees
  • referral to an appropriate community or government service

Please contact a therapist and discuss your particular circumstances.

AUT Psychotherapy Clinic

The AUT Psychotherapy Clinic is on the North Shore Campus of AUT University.

Advanced students of the Master of Health Science programme provide the psychotherapy. The AUT psychotherapy clinic aims to provide quality psychotherapy at an affordable cost. Link to the AUT Psychotherapy clinic.

Online advice

The Lowdown is a New Zealand depression website that allows you to chat online to a counsellor

GP Services

Some doctors can access free or susidised counselling for their patients. Give your GP's office a call and check with the practice nurse.

CADS - Community Alcohol and Drug Services

Free assessment and treatment for alcohol and drug issues is available through CADS - the government-funded Community Alcohol and Drug Services.

Student Services

Most of schools, universities, polytechnics and private tertiary providers offer free counselling for their students. Check their websites for details.

Government Mental Health Services

There are a range of mental health services funded by the government through the district health boards. Doctors, therapists and other health professionals can offer referrals to these services.

Community Counselling Services

There are a variety of community funded organisations that provide free or low-cost counselling such as Lifeline, Youthline or Home and Family Counselling, as well as some charitable organisations and churches. Your local Citizens Advice Bureau should know the options in your area.

Victim Support Counselling

Victim Support provides emotional support, counselling, personal advocacy and information to all people affected by crime and trauma throughout New Zealand.

Barnardos Family Services

Barnardos offers some low-cost services for children and families.

Family Court Counselling

Sadly the government stopped funding most Family Court counselling. It is now only available on referral from a lawyer where there is a court case in action.

Still more options

See our Useful Links page for websites of a range of services.