Puāwaitanga means to blossom, to flourish, to break through, and is a phone and web-based service to support Kiwis to improve their emotional wellbeing – their hauora. The service is an alternative to face to face counselling for Kiwis who are struggling but face challenges in accessing traditional counselling. All our staff are trained professionals and counselling sessions are private, confidential and free.
We recognised a need to provide support to those who may have barriers to attending traditional face to face counselling services. We launched a pilot in December 2016 for people living rurally in Canterbury, who after a referral from their GP received up to six free counselling sessions. The pilot was well received; service users like the flexibility, accessibility and anonymity and many experienced positive clinical outcomes from using Puāwaitanga. After its success, we extended Puāwaitanga to the wider Canterbury DHB region.
Current referring organisations include: Canterbury District Health Board, Ministry of Social Development, Auckland University of Technology and The University of Auckland.