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Finding mental health support

Mental health support can be found in many ways. From call and chat services to specialised care, there is help available for you.

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Finding mental health support

Ill mental health is experienced by millions of people in Australia (AIHW 2023). Statistics also show that anyone at any stage of life can struggle with ill mental health (ABS 2022). Most disorders can be treated or managed with a care plan. Recovery is possible with support.

The important thing is to find support when you need it. This may be a difficult thing for you to do, but times have changed. There is now much more social acceptance of the fact that mental health does not define a person.

If you or someone you know is experiencing ill mental health, you are not alone and there is help available. A good place to start is Head to Health, a free and confidential service with more than 500 resources available to everyone.

Ill mental health is experienced by millions of people in Australia (AIHW 2023). Statistics also show that anyone at any stage of life can struggle with ill mental health (ABS 2022). Most disorders can be treated or managed with a care plan. Recovery is possible with support.

The important thing is to find support when you need it. This may be a difficult thing for you to do, but times have changed. There is now much more social acceptance of the fact that mental health does not define a person.

If you or someone you know is experiencing ill mental health, you are not alone and there is help available. A good place to start is Head to Health, a free and confidential service with more than 500 resources available to everyone.

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Mental health helplines

The first line of support for many people is often a trained and understanding person who is ready for your call. Some of the main phone or online chat services are:

  • Lifeline - call 13 11 14, 24/7, text 0477 131 114, or chat online.
    LifeLine’s crisis support service is available 24/7. Anyone in Australia can speak to a trained Crisis Supporter any time of the day or night.
  • Beyond Blue - call 1300 22 4636 (24/7), or chat online.
    Beyond Blue is a mental health support service that connects you to a person to talk to on those days when things seem too much, or something isn’t quite right.

The first line of support for many people is often a trained and understanding person who is ready for your call. Some of the main phone or online chat services are:

  • Lifeline - call 13 11 14, 24/7, text 0477 131 114, or chat online.
    LifeLine’s crisis support service is available 24/7. Anyone in Australia can speak to a trained Crisis Supporter any time of the day or night.
  • Beyond Blue - call 1300 22 4636 (24/7), or chat online.
    Beyond Blue is a mental health support service that connects you to a person to talk to on those days when things seem too much, or something isn’t quite right.
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  • Griefline – call 1300 845 745 between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday (AEST). 
    You can also book a grief support call. This service is available 7 days a week.
  • MensLine – call 1300 78 99 78, or chat online.
    MensLine Australia is the 24/7 national telephone and online support service for men. The service is available from anywhere in Australia and is staffed by professional counsellors who are experienced in men's issues.
  • Open Arms - call 1800 011 046, or visit the Open Arms website.
    Open Arms Veterans and Families Counselling provides free and confidential counselling to anyone who has served at least one day in the Australian Defence Force.
  • Griefline – call 1300 845 745 between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday (AEST). 
    You can also book a grief support call. This service is available 7 days a week.
  • MensLine – call 1300 78 99 78, or chat online.
    MensLine Australia is the 24/7 national telephone and online support service for men. The service is available from anywhere in Australia and is staffed by professional counsellors who are experienced in men's issues.
  • Open Arms - call 1800 011 046, or visit the Open Arms website.
    Open Arms Veterans and Families Counselling provides free and confidential counselling to anyone who has served at least one day in the Australian Defence Force.
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  • Suicide Call Back Service - call 1300 659 467, or chat online. The Suicide Call Back Service offers free professional 24/7 telephone counselling support. If you are:
    • At risk of suicide
    • Concerned about someone at risk
    • Bereaved by suicide
    • Experiencing emotional or mental health issues
  • Your state's mental health crisis line - Each state and territory has a mental health call service. These services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They are triage services. If needed, they can refer you to a community mental health service.
  • Suicide Call Back Service - call 1300 659 467, or chat online. The Suicide Call Back Service offers free professional 24/7 telephone counselling support. If you are:
    • At risk of suicide
    • Concerned about someone at risk
    • Bereaved by suicide
    • Experiencing emotional or mental health issues
  • Your state's mental health crisis line - Each state and territory has a mental health call service. These services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They are triage services. If needed, they can refer you to a community mental health service.
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Learn about your options

There are many types of services, and they can support you in different ways. Learn more at Head to Health.

Healthdirect, the national virtual public health information service, provides everything you need to know about:

There are many types of services, and they can support you in different ways. Learn more at Head to Health.

Healthdirect, the national virtual public health information service, provides everything you need to know about:

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Need some help? Call free today on 1800 951 971

Peer support

Sharing personal stories can help. Support groups and peer support can also contribute to better outcomes (BMJ 2018). However, it’s not for everyone. If you're feeling stressed, depressed, anxious, or not coping, contact a GP or helpline.

Head to Health provides helpful information about options relevant to your background or identity if you are:

Sharing personal stories can help. Support groups and peer support can also contribute to better outcomes (BMJ 2018). However, it’s not for everyone. If you're feeling stressed, depressed, anxious, or not coping, contact a GP or helpline.

Head to Health provides helpful information about options relevant to your background or identity if you are:

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How to be a mental health ally

Being a mental health ally means you support and include people who are struggling with their mental health. Some of the ways you can be a mental health ally:

  • Talk to your friends or family members who may be going through a hard time. Listen to them with empathy and compassion.
  • Use positive and respectful language when talking about mental health and don’t use blaming words.
  • Educate yourself and others about mental health issues. Challenge myths and stereotypes.

Being a mental health ally means you support and include people who are struggling with their mental health. Some of the ways you can be a mental health ally:

  • Talk to your friends or family members who may be going through a hard time. Listen to them with empathy and compassion.
  • Use positive and respectful language when talking about mental health and don’t use blaming words.
  • Educate yourself and others about mental health issues. Challenge myths and stereotypes.
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Finding mental health support

References

  1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (March 2023), Prevalence and impact of mental illness. https://www.aihw.gov.au/mental-health/topic-areas/mental-illness
  2. Australian Bureau of Statistics (22 July 2022), National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing. https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/mental-health/national-study-mental-health-and-wellbeing/latest-release
  3. The British Medical Journal (3 August 2018), Peer support reduces hospital readmissions for mental health crises. https://www.bmj.com/content/362/bmj.k3405.full

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