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We're on a mission to make mental wellbeing support available to every New Zealander.

The story of Just a Thought

In 2017, the Wise Group was concerned about the state of mental wellbeing support in New Zealand:  

  • There was a massive amount of unmet need.
  • There were many barriers that stopped people from reaching out for help.
  • People were having to wait, in some cases, up to six months for professional help.  

Ignoring this was not an option. So, the Wise Group made a commitment to ensure every New Zealander can receive the mental wellbeing support they need, in a way that works for them.  

We searched the world for an empirically supported, effective online therapy tool.

We found a world-leading tool developed by a team of clinicians and researchers from St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney and the University of New South Wales to improve personal wellbeing and for the treatment of anxiety and depressive disorders. 

The Wise Group purchased the tool and spent over a year enhancing and adapting it for the New Zealand environment and people.  

Jump to 2019 and Just a Thought was born.

Just a Thought offers evidence-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) online and is designed for people with mild-to-moderate symptoms of anxiety and depression. CBT teaches people how to control their emotions, thoughts and behaviour to improve their mental health. 

A special thanks to Dr George Salmond

Thanks to the generosity of Dr George Salmond whose support has helped to make Just a Thought a free service - ensuring all New Zealanders have equitable access to mental health support now and into the future.

Read more about George Salmond and his lifelong commitment to improving New Zealand's public health services: Public Health Association remembers one of its Champions, George Salmond

We’re proud to have supported thousands of New Zealanders with their mental health. Here are some of their stories:

I learnt things that were never offered to me in the past through my GP, psychologist and counsellor during in-person appointments."

"I found this course very helpful. I didn’t want it to end… Overall, I learned things that were never offered to me in the past through my GP, psychologist and counsellor during in-person appointments."

- Anxiety Course participant

I found aspects emotionally challenging e.g., practising 'graded exposure' & writing 'worry stories', but was amazed at how effective they were!

- Anxiety Course participant

This course took away much of my shame and guilt about how I was feeling. I began to see that it could be managed. I felt a lot more hopeful and less burdened.

"The course was very straightforward, reassuring, and easy to understand. I found it helpful to have the information about generalised anxiety made explicit and accessible in one place. This made it easier for me to revisit if I needed to explore anything further or clarify something. I found the supporting information in the resources section particularly useful.”

- Depression Course participant

Great initiative acknowledging the significance of mental health and making help easy to access anonymously

- Depression Course participant

This course took away much of my shame and guilt about how I was feeling. I began to see that it could be managed. I felt a lot more hopeful and less burdened.

This course was so helpful. I appreciated that the lessons were bite sized and came with a summary and resources so I could practise between lessons. I appreciated the reminders when I hadn't been on for a while. The cartoon format felt less intimidating, while the scenarios were relatable. I felt like I was part of something bigger and that other people experience similar symptoms. As a result, I felt understood and validated. I felt like I could get through because others had. I felt supported.

This course took away much of my shame and guilt about how I was feeling. I began to see that it could be managed. I felt a lot more hopeful and less burdened. I came to understand how I was feeling and what I could do about it. The lessons were practical and not overwhelming. This tool has been a great addition to counselling, rest, self-care and medication. Thank you for this service!”

- Depression Course participant

I appreciate the solid advice and reminders to have realistic expectations.

"I just wanted to say thank you for the amazing work you do. I have completed your Generalised Anxiety Course and I come back to your resources often to reinforce my learning. I appreciate the solid advice and reminders to have realistic expectations.”

- Anxiety Course participant

I just wanted to say thank you for the great courses you offer for depression and anxiety.

“I just wanted to say thank you for the great courses you offer for depression and anxiety. I have completed both and continue to use all the tools in the course to better help my wellness and mental health recovery. Thank you again for all the wonderful resources and reading it has helped a lot.”

- Depression, Anxiety Course participant

I feel like I now know a bit more about myself and what I can do to get through days where I am struggling…I’m so pleased I did this course.

“I tried using an App on my phone, but I couldn’t connect or relate to it, so I gave up. So finding this course was great! While I know everything is a process and things take time, when I had a really dark day where I had thoughts of self harm, I was able to talk myself through it and think about things I learnt on the course and not harm myself. I feel like I now know a bit more about myself and what I can do to get through days where I am struggling, and I recognise signs, symptoms and triggers more. I’m so pleased I did this course.”

- Depression Course participant

I feel like it’s helping me recognise unhelpful habits and give me alternative tools.

"I love Just a Thought! I find the lessons really thought-provoking. I feel like it’s helping me recognise unhelpful habits and give me alternative tools. Thank you for this online course. I’m really grateful.”

- Depression Course participant

I guess to put it blankly; I wouldn’t have had any treatment if it wasn’t for this course, so thank you.

“I found finding help quite difficult. When I went to my GP, they referred me to services. I had to pay, which I have no objection to, but at $180 per session - I just couldn’t afford that.

Then I found Just a Thought.

I liked that the start of the course was more about education and doing something tangible like exercising and breathing. I didn’t find it too difficult and it felt very achievable. The course was also helpful because it turned out all the things I was doing to try and figure out what was happening and to help myself were actually doing the opposite.

So even when some activities got difficult, I could at least stop the bad things straight away even if I couldn’t quite get my head around the good actions yet. I also liked that I got to do things on my own. I found this empowering. I didn’t have to feel vulnerable talking to someone else, especially when social situations make me feel anxious.

I guess to put it blankly; I wouldn’t have had any treatment if it wasn’t for this course, so thank you!”

- Anxiety Course participant

I love that I now have the strategies I need to calm myself and talk myself out of my anxiety.

“I've always struggled with low mood/slight anxiety throughout my life. However last year I went through an instance of extreme adult bullying that greatly impacted me. I ended up developing low self-esteem leading to depression.

Later on, I realised I also had developed severe anxiety too and it became completely debilitating. I found out about the Just a Thought website and so I began the depression course first…The main thing it helped me with was strategies to challenge my thoughts and ways to improve my self-worth. I began the anxiety course a few months after that. It made such a huge difference to my life. I am now able to stop myself and do a little thought challenging activity on my phone. I mix it with a breathing strategy and it helps significantly.

Since the start of the course I have now started art classes, kickboxing classes, regular yoga classes, I got a new job, and I am looking for a new home right now. Before this I was too anxious to do any of these things. I know it will be an ongoing recovery with lapses, but I love that I now have the strategies I need to calm myself and talk myself out of my anxiety.

- Depression, Anxiety Course participant

I really appreciate the opportunity to do this course.

"I would like to thank you for making this course available. I have been told I would benefit from CBT many times, but because it's expensive to do I haven't been able to get the help. I really appreciate the opportunity to do this course."

- Anxiety Course participant