Assessment & Brief Care (ABC) Team

The mental health Assessment & Brief Care (ABC) Team (formerly known as the Crisis Team & Acute Home Based Treatment team) are Taranaki DHB's 24 hours a day, seven days a week on site and mobile mental health assessment team responding to people experiencing distressing and/or debilitating mental health concerns across the region.

Made up of experienced mental health nurses, a social worker and a support worker, the ABC Team respond to in excess of 450 calls per month with many of these calls being self-referrals or concerned whanau. The ABC Team also works with general practitioners, Taranaki DHB Emergency Departments (both New Plymouth and Hawera), Taranaki Police, other social service agencies and the general public who may have concerns regarding a persons’ mental health. The team will triage requests for assistance and prioritise, having to cover the length of Taranaki means the team can be required to travel long distances and so it is important to ensure the team sees the most urgent cases.

Monday to Friday during the day we have senior nurses available on site to see people in ED or any of the general wards.

In addition to providing assessments the team also provides brief care to people in their home. Home visits will be conducted to provide support, education, assistance with medications or coping strategies, assisting people to access further supports relating to employment or benefits, community agencies and other supports not directly provided by mental health services. This form of follow up can last for a few days or over a month depending on the needs of the individual.

The team also facilitates access to the New Plymouth and Hawera based respite services. Respite houses are places where a person can stay for up to a week but normally a few days to receive support and observation from trained support staff, often people may have started a new medication and might need assistance for the first few days. The ABC staff will also follow up daily for more intensive support and assessment. Often Respite is used as an early option to avoid the need for admission to hospital and also provides family/whanau that may be caring for a family member with a break as well.

If you have concerns or questions but don’t think they are urgent or you are just unsure there is a free national call line for any mental health enquiries. This service is staffed by trained professionals who will provide advice and suggestions, be an ear to talk to and will link you to the most appropriate service based on the information they receive. Dial 1737 from any phone to connect to this help line.

The ABC Team can be contacted on 0508 292 4672 and follow the voice prompts as directed.


Mental Health Liaison Nurse

The Mental Health Consult Liaison Nurse is a specialist nurse based at New Plymouth Hospital between the hours of 8am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday. They see any person who presents to ED with Acute Mental Health concerns or patients admitted in general wards that may need mental health input. 


Contact us:

To contact us phone 06 753 6139 and ask for the Assessment & Brief Care Team or free phone 0508 277 478.

Our staff will endeavour to answer your call immediately however if this is not possible you will be prompted to leave a message. Please do and our team will respond as quickly as possible.

Overnight the point of contact for Mental Health Services is the Night Triage Nurse, an experienced Registered Nurse on duty at the New Plymouth Base Hospital who can be contacted through the operators or by presenting to the Emergency Department. Phone 06 753 6139 and ask for the Mental Health Night Triage Nurse.


Last updated: Thursday, July 11, 2019

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