Physiotherapist – SMHS – Canterbury District Health Board

We are inviting an energetic and enthusiastic Physiotherapist to join the Specialist Mental Health Service (SMHS) Physiotherapy team in a 0.8 FTE (64 hours/fortnight) permanent position. This role will be based at the Hillmorton site, with emphasis on a range of services providing inpatient care mainly with adults. Clinical areas could include the acute wards, rehabilitation unit/s, intellectual disability, addiction or longer-stay/forensic areas: placement may be influenced by the applicant’s experience and interests in relation to existing team members and may include some outpatient work.

Key attributes for working in Mental Health include strong interpersonal skills with the ability to develop effective therapeutic relationships, advanced clinical reasoning with the capacity to be flexible and/or creative, an interest in mental health and hunger for ongoing learning, and the desire to work collaboratively and positively with consumers, whanau, and colleagues. Experience with education and running group interventions is an advantage.

As consumers often present with a range of physical health co-morbidities, clinical experience with acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions and falls management is an advantage, along with some knowledge of neurological, and respiratory conditions.

Treatment often includes support with exercise and lifestyle strategies, and referral on to appropriate services in the wider community or within the CDHB.

Mental health-specific Physiotherapy is based on a neurobiological understanding of the bi-directional influence between brain and body. Common mental health-specific interventions include management of anxiety and sleep difficulties, integration of movement and sensory processing dysfunctions, breathing pattern retraining and management of persistent pain.

Experience working within mental health is not essential. Orientation, ongoing training, supervision and support for working within SMHS will be provided for the successful applicant.

For additional information about the position, please contact Ruth Troughton on 03 3377969 ext 33471, or 0272 499 093.

Or to find out more information about applying, please contact Hayley Buick, Recruitment Specialist – Allied Health, Phone: (03) 3377961 or email

Applications are only accepted online so please visit our website at to complete an application.

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