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  • What is Te Tumu Waiora?
    Te Tumu Waiora means to head towards wellness in te reo Māori and is a new way of receiving wellbeing, mental health and addictions support through general practice. The service puts mental health and wellbeing at the heart of general practice with focused roles, Health Improvement Practitioners (HIP), Health Coaches and Support Workers, working as part of the general practice team to support people with their wellbeing and mental health.
  • What is a Health Improvement Practitioner (HIP)?
    A Health Improvement Practitioner, or HIP, is part of the general practice team. They provide advice and support based on a person’s goals, helping you to manage your health and wellbeing. They work closely with local community organisations and services to ensure people can get the full range of help they need. HIPs can help you develop a plan, including ideas about actions and tools that can help with things like: > managing thoughts, feelings and behaviours > stress, anxiety, depression or feeling down > coping with loss > sleep problems > drug and alcohol problems > family or relationship issues, domestic violence, parenting > chronic pain > living with the side-effects of illness and health conditions > navigating gender identity, sexual orientation HIPs are registered health professionals with experience and training in talking therapies and counselling. They come from a range of professional backgrounds and include psychologists, nurses, occupational therapists, social workers and addiction counsellors.
  • What is a Health Coach?
    A Health Coach is part of the general practice team. They are non-clinical and come from a variety of backgrounds and are well connected to the local community. They use their own experiences and Health Coach training to partner with people to support them to build their own skills, knowledge and confidence to manage their own health and wellbeing. Health Coaches can help you: > understand what health challenges you are having and make a plan > providing advice and support on how to manage your health and reach your goals > working with you to improve your eating habits and get more active > help you understand your medicines and show you how to take them safely > linking you with other services or organisations that may be able to help as well They can support you with: Diabetes, Asthma, Gout, high cholesterol, high blood pressure or low blood pressure, sleep, positive parenting, tips for managing stress and emotions, quitting smoking, housing, food or social connection.
  • What is a Support Worker?
    Support Workers are based in the community and can offer practical support and advice to help people work on what is important to them. The type of support includes, how to make contact and visit social services, support to implement health plans and work on personal goals, budgeting and housing support. Your Health Improvement Practitioner and/or Health Coach will introduce you to a Support Worker if you need further support.
  • Is Te Tumu Waiora right for me?
    Te Tumu Waiora is for anyone who has issues affecting their health and wellbeing. It doesn’t have to be mental health or addiction issues; it can be anything impacting your wellbeing.
  • How can I get into this service?
    Your general practitioner (GP) or practice nurse can offer to introduce you to a HIP or Health Coach if you are experiencing distress or have any issues impacting your wellbeing. You can see the HIP or Health Coach at your general practice, often immediately or at a time that suits you, free of charge.
  • Can I self-refer to Te Tumu Waiora?
    Being introduced by your general practitioner (GP) or practice nurse to a Te Tumu Waiora team member is best. If you are not able to visit your practice, you could call to talk to a practice nurse and they may be able to refer you to the service. For following appointments with HIPs and Health Coaches, you can arrange these directly with the practice reception.
  • How do I book an appointment with the Te Tumu Waiora service?
    You can book in to see the HIP or Health Coach, via the front reception of your general practice, in the same way you do for any appointment. However, most initial appointments will occur following an introduction from the general practitioner (GP) or nurse.
  • Who will you see at your Te Tumu Waiora appointment
    Either a Health Improvement Practitioner (HIP), Health Coach (HC) or Support Worker.
  • What will happen at my appointment?
    You will talk with your Health Improvement Practitioner (HIP) and/or Health Coach (HC) about the issues you have and then work on a plan together to start making positive changes right away. The HIPs and HCs provide advice and support based on your goals, supporting you to be able to manage your health. They work closely with community groups and services and can help link you with other places where you can get support.
  • How do support workers fit into the service?
    If you need more support with the plan you made with the HIP or Health Coach, they may be able to introduce you to a Support Worker who can meet with you at home or in the community to help you reach your goals. They provide support and can link you with community services. This might include things like going with you to a community activity for the first time.
  • Do I need to pay for this service?
    It is a free service, so you can easily get support when you need it.
  • Where will my appointment be?
    At your general practice, unless you are getting support from a Support Worker who may see you in the community or your home.
  • Why was I directly contacted by my practice about Te Tumu Waiora?
    Your general practice team may feel this service is right for you and contact you directly to talk to you about Te Tumu Waiora.
  • Can I book a time over the phone or a virtual consult?
    Yes, after the first appointment, you can call your general practice reception to book a virtual, phone or face-to-face appointment.
  • When will I be seen?
    Wherever possible you will be seen on the same day you visit your general practice. The general practitioner (GP) or nurse will explain who the Health Improvement Practitioner (HIP) or Health Coach is and what they can help you with and if possible, introduce you to them.
  • How long is the appointment?
    Usually 30 minutes.
  • What time of day can I book an appointment?
    Generally HIPs and Health Coaches work between 8.30am and 5.00pm during the week. Please contact your general practice to find out which days during the week they work and to book an appointment.
  • Will the HIP or Health Coach take notes and where will these notes be stored?
    Yes, note will be stored with your other medical records on the general practices system.
  • Can the Health Improvement Practitioner (HIP) or Health Coach refer me to another service if I need further help/support?
    Yes, both HIPs and Health Coaches can refer you to other services if they provide the support you need.
  • What if I also need care from a community mental health service?
    If you need more help for your mental health, the HIP will work closely with a community mental health service to ensure you get this level of support.
  • What if I’m already under the care of a community mental health service?
    If your practice offers the Te Tumu Waiora service, you can also see a HIP or Health Coach to support you with particular issues. The HIP or Health Coach will liaise with the community mental health service as appropriate.
  • What if I need urgent help?
    The HIP will talk with the general practitioner (GP) if you need urgent help for your wellbeing. The team can refer you to a crisis service and support you until you get to this service.
  • How many appointments can I have?
    There is no set number of appointments. You will work with the HIP or Health Coach on a plan if you need ongoing support.
  • Can I return for further support at a later time?
    Absolutely, if you have used the service previously and need further support you can return. Just contact your general practice to make a time.
  • What if I can’t make my appointment?
    Call your general practice reception as soon as possible before your appointment, ideally at least 24 hours before, so your time can be given to someone else. You will also be able to reschedule your appointment.
  • How do I know if my general practice offers this service?
    You can see here which practices currently have Te Tumu Waiora HIPs, Health Coaches and Support Workers - check out our practice map.
  • What if my general practice doesn’t offer this service? Where can I get support for my mental health and wellbeing?
    Your general practitioner (GP) can refer you to the Brief Intervention Talking Therapy service, which is also free for up to five sessions, or a range of other community service providers who may be able to help. You can also call 1737 – a free phone counselling service that is available 24/7 will be able to offer you support and advice.



It was calming to make a plan and give some control.  If the doctor just gives medication, it doesn’t work for a while, what can you do in the interim?  It addressed all issues that I was having, not just health. 

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