Whether you’re experiencing depression, anxiety, thoughts of suicide or living with a mental health condition yourself, or helping a friend who is, there are so many organisations that specialise in supporting people with their mental health. Many of us don’t know who they are, or where to find them though so here is a list of some of the best. As an R U OK Day Ambassador looking after your mental health, and looking out for your mates, is important to me – so here’s a little gift to keep in your back pocket, and share around if you like.
Never be afraid, nervous or ashamed of checking out these resources, contacting any of these organisations, or sharing them around. They are here to help, whenever you need it.
This is by no means a complete list of services and organisations that are dedicated to looking after our mental health. If there are any you know of that you think should be on this list, let me know.
- 24/7 Services for immediate support
- Supporting someone who needs it
- Depression, anxiety, PND, suicide prevention and recovery, and other mental health experiences and conditions
- LGBTQIA+ specific mental health resources
- LGBTQIA health organisations and community groups.
- Youth mental health resources
- Governing bodies, Office of the eSafety Commissioner, research and community organisations
1. 24/7 Services for immediate support
Lifeline is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
Suicide Call Back Service is a nationwide service that provides 24/7 telephone, video and online professional counselling to people who are affected by suicide.
MensLine Australia is a telephone and online counselling service for men with family and relationship concerns. Telephone, video and online professional counselling.
The Mental Health Line is a 24-hour telephone service operating seven days a week across NSW.
The Mental Health Line acts as a single point of contact across NSW, and people dialling this number will be directed to mental health service local to where the person is calling from (via triangulation). It’s a free service, open to people not covered by Medicare (e.g. overseas students or tourists). The people who staff the intake services have clinical backgrounds, such as mental health nursing, psychology, social work, OT and welfare backgrounds.
Similar services are available in some other states are detailed on the NSW Health page linked to.
1800RESPECT is a confidential service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. to provide support for people experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, sexual assault, domestic or family violence, amd their friends and family.
– Information: On sexual assault, domestic and family violence, abuse, and other issues.
– Referral: Putting you in touch with people and services that can help you
– Counselling: What you talk about and how much you say is up to you. We can listen and work with you to come up with things that might help. Workers and professionals can also use this service.
Kids Helpline is Australia’s only free, private and confidential 24/7 phone and online counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25.
Health Direct Australia is a free government funded service that offers 24 hour health advice and information on all health needs and concerns. We also direct people to appropriate services where and when they need them.
Ph: 1800 022 222
2.Supporting friends and family who need help
R U OK boosts your skills and confidence to identify, talk with and help friends and family when they need it. When someone is struggling with life, you could turn things around in ways you might not have imagined.
R U OK also take speakers into schools, universities and corporate arenas, and creates a voice in the media to generate conversation around mental health and suicide prevention. Contact the team on firstname.lastname@example.org to ask about our speakers and the services we provide.
4 Simple Steps to a conversation – https://www.ruok.org.au/how-to-ask
R U OK Podcast Series – Thanks for asking
As an Ambassador for R U OK I truly believe in the work we to do break down stigma and help peoeple connect with their friends and family, when it is needed most. Check out my blog on why I became an R U OK Day Ambassador
When helping a friend it’s important to remember to also look after yourself.
- Remember that you’re (probably) not a mental health professional. As a friend you can listen and be there and help as much as you can, but there are times when professional care is necessary. Encourage people to talk to their GP, Psychologist , counsellor or one of the many services and organisations listed here.
- “Not my circus, not my monkeys” is advice to live by. Be careful not to take on someone else’s issues and struggles as your own, or try to solve or take on responsibility for them. Be as there as a support and a friend, but be mindful that you’re not, and don’t have, the solution.
- Talk to your friends, especially mutual friends of the person you’re supporting, if you have any. Make sure to share the load, and a get a few people involved, where possible.
Follow R U OK’s 4 simple steps to a conversation to guide you through what can be challenging conversations.
3. Depression, anxiety, suicide prevention and recovery, and services other mental health experiences
Better Access Initiative ( Medicare)
If affordability is a concern for counselling or psychology services, Medicare funds up to 10 sessions p/year under the Better Access Initiative. Start with talking to your GP for a referral and about Better Access. http://www.health.gov.au/mentalhealth-betteraccess
Australia has some of the best online safety and wellbeing resources in the world. This Wellbeing Hub from the Office of the eSafety Commissioner brings those resources together in one place to make it easier for all Australians to get the right information and support when they need it.
The WayAhead Directory is a comprehensive online database used to find services in NSW, to make referrals and access mental health information and resources.
Beyond Blue is equipping everyone in Australia’s diverse communities with the knowledge and skills to protect their own mental health.
Beyond Blue offer a huge range of services and resources for people of all ages, genders, sexual preferences and cultural backgrounds experiencing different types of these conditions. Services include Online Chat Forums, Staying well and recovery resources and NewAccess – a free service that provides support in the form of a coach who will guide you in setting practical goals that will help get you back on track.
SANE’s work includes mental health awareness, online peer support and information, stigma reduction, specialist helpline support, research and advocacy for Australians affected by complex mental illness.
Support – Phone helpline, Online Chat, Discussion Forums and resources
BITE BACK is an online interactive space where you can learn how to amplify the good stuff in life! Through our activities, videos and fact sheets you can learn how to increase your levels of wellbeing, deal with stress and harness your strengths so you can live your best life.
Blokepedia is creating a caring and supportive community that encourages men to connect, openly share their stories and discuss the issues and topics that affect them.
The Men’s Shed exists because most men have learned from our culture that they don’t talk about feelings and emotions many do not take an interest in their own health and well-being. The Men’s Shed provides safe, comfortable, productive environments for men to talk, bond, build and share.
Outside the Locker Room was founded by AFL player Jake Edwards and works with all types of sports clubs, from community to professional, all around Australia to develop and support the overall health and wellbeing of players through education, mentoring, tools and networks.
Support After Suicide provides support to people who are bereaved by suicide, including friends, family and young people. They also offer education and training to health, education and welfare organisations to build capacity for the support of those affected by suicide.
Gia Allemand Foundation believes in the fundamental right for women, trans-men, and non-binary individuals assigned female at birth to receive accurate diagnosis, effective treatment, and social support for reproductive mental health and illness.
The mission of Gia Allemand Foundation is to:
- Reduce the stigma and raise awareness of reproductive mood disorders, suicidality, and depression.
- Provide educational opportunities for those unable to obtain primary and mental health care services due to geographical location or financial means.
- Provide global crisis intervention and peer support services at no-cost regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identification, political affiliation, or socioeconomic status.
- Provide individuals with a path to recovery following a diagnosis of mental illness, reproductive mood disorder, suicidal ideation or attempted suicide.
Alcohol and Drug Information Service ( ADIS). The Alcohol and Drug Information Centres are state and territory-based services that offer information, advice, referral, intake, assessment and support 24 hours a day. Details for each state service are in the link.
The centres offer services for individuals, their family and friends, general practitioners, other health professionals and business and community groups.
Your employer may have an EAP partner that gives you access to a set number of free counselling and psychology consultations. If you’re unsure, just ask or search your company intranet if you have one.
4. LGBTQIA+ Specific mental health resources
QLIfe – LGBT service similar to Lifeline. Phone on online chat.
Ph: 1800 184 527
Listen with Love – R U OK Mental health resource for the LGBT+ Community.
Interview – News.com.au Why I became an R U OK Day Ambassador
FNQ Magazine – Guest contributor ( 2018) – Marching Mardi Gras for Mental Health with R U OK
Wingman – Beyond Blue Mental health resource for gay men.
Here’s why I helped Beyond Blue launch Wingman in 2017.
Interview – Star Observer – Beyond Blue Wingman Launch
SheQu is a Sydney based Culturally & Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Queer & Trans Migrant same sex attracted Women’s Support Group. Contact them on Facebook, twitter and Instagram @shequgroup
Minus18 tackle bullying and discrimination by creating spaces where LGBTQIA youth belong. Events, Workshops, Education and Campaigns
5. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) health and community groups.
Counselling Services, Youth and Adult education and groups, community connections and groups, sexual health.
ACON is a NSW based health promotion organisation specialising in HIV prevention, HIV support and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) health. VAC and QUAC below are the equivalents in Victoria and QLD
The Gender Centre specialises in working with and supporting the Transgender community and is committed to developing and providing services and activities, which enhance the ability of people with gender issues to make informed choices. We offer a wide range of services to people with gender issues, their partners, family members and friends in New South Wales.
This resource contains information
related to religious groups, cultural groups and
sporting groups that are specifically for LGBTQIA+
individuals, with the aim of providing assistance and
social support in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
6. Youth Specific organisations and resources
batyr focuses on preventative education in the area of youth mental health. batyr provides programs that train young people to speak about their personal experience with mental ill health and start a conversation in their community. They also take speakers into schools, universities and corporate arenas to continue this conversation around mental health.
Project Rockit Believe In A World Where Kindness And Respect Thrive Over Bullying, Hate And Prejudice And All Young People Are Free To Realise Their Potential.
For Over 10 Years (!) PROJECT ROCKIT Has Been Empowering School Students To Stand Up To Hate Instead Of Standing By Watching. Through The Lens Of (Cyber)Bullying, Our Workshops Explore Themes Of Diversity, Belonging, Respectful Relationships, Values And Ethics, While Building Student Voice, Leadership And Empathy.
Headspace is the National Youth Mental Health Foundation providing early intervention mental health services to 12-25 year olds, along with assistance in promoting young peoples’ wellbeing. https://headspace.org.au/about-us/who-we-are/
ReachOut is Australia’s leading online mental health organisation for young people and their parents. Our practical support, tools and tips help young people get through anything from everyday issues to tough times – and the information we offer parents makes it easier for them to help their teenagers, too.
7. Governing Bodies, Organisations and Research.
The Mindframe National Media Initiative provides access to up-to-date, evidence-based information to support the reporting, portrayal and communication about suicide and mental illness in media, marketing, advertising .
The eSafety Commissioner is responsible for promoting online safety for all Australians.
The Office is committed to helping all Australians have safer, positive experiences online—co-ordinating and leading the online safety efforts of government, industry and the not-for profit community. It has a broad remit which includes providing:
- a complaints service for young Australians who experience serious cyberbullying
- identifying and removing illegal online content
- tackling image-based abuse.
The Office also provides audience-specific content to help educate all Australians about online safety including young people, women, teachers, parents, seniors and community groups.
Suicide Prevention Australia provides national leadership for the suicide prevention sector in Australia. SPA works collaboratively to develop a community that knows how to ask for help and how to give help.
The Black Dog Institute is dedicated to understanding, preventing and treating mental illness, creating a world where mental illness is treated with the same level of concern, immediacy and seriousness as physical illness; where scientists work to discover the causes of illness and new treatments, and where discoveries are immediately put into practice through health services, technology and education.
The National LGBTI Health Alliance is the national peak health organisation in Australia for organisations and individuals that provide health-related programs, services and research focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people (LGBTI) and other sexuality, gender, and bodily diverse people and communities.
ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs offer a range of services to assist employers, sporting organisations and service providers with all aspects of LGBTI inclusion.
“A flat rollercoaster is just a slow, boring train to nowhere.”
We are born with a roller coaster of emotions because we are meant to ride it. From the dark depths of sadness and shame to the starry heights of pride and joy, we’re meant to embrace, experience and learn from them all. We’re just not meant to live in any of our emotions permanently.
It’s ok not to be ok, but it’s not ok to go through it alone, because you don’t have to.
Related Posts: Self Care and Mental Health
R U OK Day Ambassador, Head of Social Media @ Colloquial, Social Media and Content Strategy, Social Media @ TEDxSydney, LGBTQIA+ Blogger, Influencer, Model.
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