Introduction | Te Whatu Ora - Te Tai Tokerau


Te Tumu Waiora or ‘to head towards wellness’ - is a new model of primary mental health and addictions care and support which aims to provide all New Zealanders experiencing mental distress or addictions challenges with access to convenient, high quality, integrated and person-centred care and support.

The model puts mental health and wellbeing at the heart of general practice with focused roles, Health Improvement Practitioners (HIP) and Health Coaches (HC), working as part of the general practice team. This model allows for a 'warm handover' which means that a GP or nurse in the general practice can offer someone who is experiencing mental distress or addiction issues the option of seeing the HIP in the same location quickly – often immediately.

The HIPs and Health Coaches provide advice and support based on individualised goals, promoting self-management. The Health Coaches are employed by and work closely with local community NGO support workers to ensure people can access the full range of help they need.

The programme gives GPs the ability, and time, to support a ‘skills not pills’ approach in the first instance, with some GPs reporting a reduction in the prescribing of antidepressants. The programme is highly valued by general practice teams in which it already operates from as it enhances GP and Practice Nurse confidence and competence in the supporting the behavioural and emotional health needs of their patients. The stepped nature of the model allows HIPs to see people quickly and assess the level of help they need.

HIPs will be addressing the needs of a significant number of people who have high levels of distress and complexity, including those people who would not meet the entry criteria for secondary services but have needs beyond the capacity of “traditional general practice”

Ask if the Te Tumu Waiora service is available at your GP Practice. There is currently no charge to access this service.

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