“Whangia ka tupu, ka puawai: That which is nurtured, blossoms and grows”

  • W's Story

    W's Story

    I found the staff really helpful during my recovery. Communicating with my case manager, doctor and community support worker was
    Read More
  • L's Story

    L's Story

    At age sixteen, I was doing well at school and I had friends who I had fun with. This was
    Read More
  • S' Family Story

    S' Family Story

    Before this happened to my son Sam, my understanding of psychosis was that it only affected deeply disturbed people who
    Read More
  • W's Story

    W's Story

    I found the staff really helpful during my recovery. Communicating with my case manager, doctor and community support worker was
    Read More

Contact details

Address: Tōtara House, 183 Montreal Street, Christchurch Central, 8011

Telephone: 03 335 4525

Fax: 03 377 9713

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Referral criteria

Age: 18-30 years old

Please see the EIPP team page for people under 18 in Christchurch

Presenting issue: First episode of psychosis or after a duration of psychosis not previously treated by mental health services.

Location: Within Christchurch city and suburban areas. Rural areas in wider Canterbury are not covered by our service and instead are covered by the Rural Team.

Length of service: Up to 2 years

Referral process

Please contact the SPOE Team (Single Point of Entry) who will gather the relevant information so they can refer to the appropriate mental health service within the CDHB.

SPOE telephone (Mon-Fri, 8.30-5): 0800 920 092

SPOE usually take referrals from GP services, but can also take calls from concerned relatives, friends or the person themselves.

Many of our referrals also come from the Adult Inpatient Unit, and any person who meets our referral criteria can be referred to us while they are on the unit so we can arrange an assessment with them before or just after discharge.

Meet the team

Tōtara House is a multidisciplinary team made up of staff from the following professional backgrounds:

  • Mental Health Nursing
  • Social Work
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Pukenga Atawhai (Māori Mental Health)
  • Community Support Workers
  • Fitness and Activity Coaching
  • Employment Support
  • Administration

We also have close links with other professionals such as Drug and Alcohol workers, Physiotherapists, Dieticians and Dentists, who can offer support to people while they are under Totara House.


Some of the Totara House team in our garden on Montreal Street, Christchurch

Our aims:

Tōtara House has been running since 1996, and was one of the first Early Intervention in Psychosis Services in NZ. We support young adults and their families who have been affected by a first-episode of psychosis. We work with people for up to two years and provide a wide range of different types of intervention and social, practical and emotional support. 

Our aim is to help promote someone’s symptom, social and personal recovery following an experience of psychosis. We help people to learn different ways to manage their symptoms alongside finding medications that suit them; we help get people back into work or study, depending on their individual goals; and we help people to make sense of their experiences and meet other people who have been through similar things, to help them to move forward with their lives. We also understand how difficult this time can be for the families of someone experiencing psychosis, and so we offer family support, through the team at Tōtara and also through our local partners such as Supporting Families Christchurch.

What people say about us:

“Nice family vibe, makes you feel like you’re at home. It’s a safe place to open up and talk about things. At first I was a bit scared, but with the friendly staff helping as much as they do I soon felt comfortable”.