Mental health problems affect one in five Adult Australians. Many people experience a crisis situation where they need additional support. Knowing where to go for immediate support and assistance is really important. For some people, a person on the other side of a phone is what they need. For others using the internet as a way of connecting to crisis support is the best way of coping. People need crisis support at any time, day or night. These helplines and online support provide a range of options for people in need. 

NSW Mental Health Line

 1800 011 511

The Mental Health Access Line is for people to call within NSW and directly link with local NSW mental health services, and to mental health services in other regions throughout NSW. You can also ring them if you or a loved one is experiencing a mental health crisis and may be at risk of harm to themselves or others.

Lifeline Telephone 24-Hour Crisis Support 

13 11 14 

Lifeline has trained crisis supporters available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They also offer an online Crisis Support Chat 7 days a week between 7pm – 4am AEDT. 

Mensline Australia 

1300 78 99 78 

This is a telephone counselling service available 24 hours, 7 days a week, for men with relationship or family concerns. 

Suicide Call Back Service 

1300 659 467  

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.


1300 22 46 36 

24-hour helpline which gives information and referral to services for anxiety and depression.



1300 726 306 

PANDA supports women, men and families across Australia affected by anxiety and depression during pregnancy and in the first year of parenthood. They also provide support relating to postnatal psychosis. The national helpline is available from 9am – 7.30pm Monday to Friday AEST. 

Alternatively, you can email support@panda. and a team member will get back to you during helpline hours. 

Carers NSW 

Ph: 1800 242 636

Carers NSW provides a Carer Line which is staffed by experienced Carer Support Officers who offer emotional support, referrals, and distribute carer specific resources and information, to carers, service providers and community members. Their Carer Support Officers understand the issues carers face and the supports carers can access in their local community. The Carer Line runs Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm.

Gambling Help Telephone & Online 

1800 858 858 

This free, confidential helpline provides counselling, information and referral for people with gambling problems and concerned family members, over the phone or as an online chat service. 

The Butterfly Foundation 

1800 33 4673 

The Butterfly Foundation is a nation-wide advocacy and support organisation for those with eating disorders and their loved ones. The website has excellent resource for parents and carers, and provides support by email or live chat.


Telephone: 1800 184 527 

(3pm-midnight local time, 7 days) 

QLife is Australia’s first nationally-oriented counselling and referral service for LGBTIQ+ people. QLife provides nation-wide, early intervention, peer supported telephone and web-based services to people of all ages, sexualities and genders. The website also hosts some useful guides.

NSW Quitline 13 7848 (13 QUIT) 

A confidential telephone information and advice service to help smokers quit and stay quit.


 1800 187 263

Helpline where you can talk to a mental health professional. The Helpline runs Monday to Friday, 10am – 10pm.

Ph: You can also use the SANE support chat which runs Monday to Friday, 10am – 10pm.


Headspace are the National youth mental health foundation dedicated to improving the mental health and wellbeing of young people. If you are a young person aged 25 years and under, and are having a difficult time, you can talk to Headspace via phone or e-headspace online.

Ph: 1800 650 890

Kids Help Line

1800 55 1800 

This is a telephone, and web-based counselling service. It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for young people aged up to 25 years. 



What does recovery mean?

Recovery and using a recovery approach is talked about in the mental health sector, A LOT. But, what does Recovery even mean? Why is it so important? How does it help you to support others? Does it mean everyone with a mental health problem can “recover” and that we teach you during Mental Health First Aid how to help someone recover? Well, we can answer some of those questions…

We teach Recovery as a key mental-health principle in our mental health first aid training, and show how people can support others using a recovery oriented approach. It is really important to us, and we use a recovery oriented approach when providing support coordination.

Recovery is often described as a personal journey. As a personal journey it means different things to different people.  

There is no doubt that recovery is a unique experience. However, in saying that, when people who are in recovery from mental illness share their experiences there are several common elements that seem to come up time and time again. We have broken them down here. They are, that: 

  • Everyone can recover from mental illness in their own way
  • Recovery is about having hope for the future and working towards what is important to you  
  • Recovery is not always a linear process and there may be ups and downs in people’s recovery journey 
  • Recovery does not necessarily mean an absence of symptoms or cure 
  • Recovery is an ongoing process and about someone as a whole person 
  • Recovery is about resilience, a person’s overall well being and having the tools for self-care 

Just as recovery means different things to different people, there are a range of different approaches and services that can support people in working towards their recovery goals (or helping them to identify what these are). 


It can be helpful for people to build a team that they  think can help them on their recovery journey. This could be a combination of health professionals, such as those in the medical profession like a psychiatrist and other supports you find helpful such as a peer support group. Sometimes it is about trying new things to see what works (or doesn’t work) for someone. It can also be useful for people to know that they have support available if they need it in the future.  


When you are providing mental health first aid to someone with a mental health problem, knowing where someone is in their Recovery journey can really help. Some people may not have heard about the idea of recovery, so it is good to know where to go to get resources. 

If you want to read more on recovery, there are several good resources out there. Ones we have found include: 

  •  Health Direct website – This website is a great first point of contact for an overview. Click here to go to their website. 
  • Mind Australia – They have some good resources on recovery. Click here to go to their website. 
  • The SANE website – They have a blog post including a video on recovery where people share what recovery means to them. Click here to access the page.  

“Recovery means to me that I have the inner strength to focus on my wellness.  In many ways for me it is about embracing possibility, acceptance of things I cannot change and the discovery of new knowledge that gives me the feelings of stability and wholeness”  

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