Where do I get help for mental health issues?

by | Mental Health

Mental health


Video transcript

Dr Matthew Cullen, Psychiatrist, St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney

Getting help for mental health issues is actually a lot easier today than it was 10, 20, 30 years ago. Fortunately, the stigma around mental health or mental illness is not what it was. Depends where you live to a degree, it depends who you trust. It depends who you’re able to confide in as to where you get help for mental health issues. But I’m going to give you a few ideas or a few examples.

The first place is your family doctor or your GP. They’re actually, as a general rule, well-trained in mental health issues and can certainly help work with you as to whether you have an underlying mental illness and what are the various treatment options.

Secondly, lots of people are employed in quite large workplaces, and many large workplaces have an employee assistance programme, which uses clinical psychologists to provide mental health assessment and treatment for individuals who work with that employer. More broadly, for those who wish to maintain more anonymity, there are a variety of services one can make contact with. These include Beyond Blue, headspace, Lifeline, all of which can provide you with assistance, often very immediately.

And lastly, across Australia, there are many thousands of clinical psychologists and psychiatrists who specialise in the treatment of mental health and mental illnesses. And accessing them through your GP is a very effective way to get to someone who’s highly professional, able to assess your underlying problem and help you with getting . . .

Mental health helplines

If you or someone you know is feeling distressed and/or having suicidal thoughts, see your doctor, phone one of these helplines or click on the links below for online web chat counselling or support. Call 000 if life is in danger.

Lifeline (24 hours) 13 11 14
Kids Helpline (for young people aged 5 to 25 years) 1800 55 1800
Beyond Blue Support Service (24 hours) 1300 22 4636
MensLine Australia (24 hours) 1300 78 99 78
SANE Helpline – mental illness information, support and referral 1800 187 263
Suicide Call Back Service (24 hours) – free counselling support 1300 659 467