Youth Brief Intervention Service (YBIS) Mental Health

Our Youth Brief Intervention Service can help out if you are aged 12-19 and experiencing any low mood, anxiety, stress, or difficulties at school, work, or home.

We can see people for up to six 1 hour long sessions (within a 12 month period) and because we are a mobile service, we can catch up at home, school, work, our office – wherever suits!  We also travel to Waimate, Geraldine, Twizel, and everywhere in between in South Canterbury.

This is a mild to moderate service which means that we tend to see young people whose mood or worry is starting to have an impact on their day to day life and functioning. If we aren’t quite the right fit for you, we’ll help support you to get to a more appropriate service.

Our office is open 8:30 – 5:00 Monday to Friday. You can make a referral for someone or get involved yourself really easily by just giving us a call. We are a free service funded by the South Canterbury District Health Board. 

Client Group

Young people aged 12 - 19 years living in the South Canterbury District Health Board area

Anyone can refer to this service

You can refer yourself, or be referred by family, GP, guidance counsellor or other agencies.


This is a free service to the young person.
This is not a crisis service and young people presenting at significant risk of harm to themselves or others should be referred to secondary services ie Timaru Psychiatric Services (ph. 0800277997)

To be Eligible for the Youth Brief Intervention Service (YBIS) – Mental Health: 

The young person has an identified mild to moderate mental health concern or is at risk of developing this

The young person would benefit from and engage with a short term (4-6 sessions) treatment option and there have been no more than 4-6 sessions in the previous 12 month period

That an assessment pathway is needed to explore more appropriate community referral options

The young person is aged between 12 – 19 years or is presenting as appropriate for a youth service

They live within the South Canterbury area

There are no immediate safety or risk concerns

Some appropriate issues for referral are

Anxiety, Bereavement, Depression, Physical Health – adjustment to illness, Stress, Stress related illness

Referrals must not be SOLELY for

Alcohol and drug problems – referral to Adventure Development Youth Alcohol and Drug Service is welcomed (03) 684 5870 - or to Alcohol and Other Drug Youth Service, Kensington – Ph (03) 687 2150
Conduct Disorder, Criminal/Antisocial Behaviour, Intellectual Disability (including head injury), Learning Difficulties, Anger/Violence, ADHD
Enquiries always welcome if presentation is unclear – please phone us.

Referral can be made by completing the form on the Timaru homepage