Resources and information

Quick Links

1. Telephone Helplines

2. Carer Support Organisations and Peak Bodies
2.1 Carer Support Organisations
2.2 Carer Peak Bodies

3. Government Assistance for Carers: Respite Services, Payments and Allowances

4. Mental Health Resources and Organisations
4.1 Resources about Specific Mental Health Problems / for Specific Groups
4.2 Crisis and Suicide Support

5. Resources about Recovery

6. Complaints Commissions (Health and Mental Health) and Public Advocates
6.1 Complaints Commissions (Health and Mental Health)
6.2 Offices of the Public Advocate (Selected States and Territories)

7. Supported Decision Making information
7.1 New Victorian Mental Health Act (2014)
7.2 Supported Decision Making Mechanisms and Related Agencies
7.3 Downloadable Resources on Mental Health and Supported Decision-Making

8. Therapy and Counselling

1. Telephone Helplines

2. Carer Support Organisations and Peak Bodies

2.1 Carer Support Organisations

Mind Australia
http://www.mindaustralia.org.au/
Carer helpline: 1300 554 660
Mind is a leading provider of community mental health services to support people with a mental illness, their carers and families in Victoria, South Australia and Queensland. Mind offers many resources including helplines, online forums, psychological counselling and therapy, group programs, workshops, and residential services.

Mental Health Carers Australia
https://www.mentalhealthcarersaustralia.org.au/
Tel: 1300 554 660
Mental Health Carers Australia is the only national advocacy group solely concerned with the well-being and promotion of mental health carer needs. Its mission is to be the national voice for mental health carers to enable the best possible life.

Tandem (Victoria)
http://tandemcarers.org.au/
Tandem is the Victorian peak body representing family and friends supporting people living with mental health issues. Tandem’s mission is to provide leadership and coordination for the community of individuals and organisations who seek better outcomes for Victorian mental health carers.

Wellways Australia
https://www.wellways.org/
Tel: 1300 111 400
Wellways Australia is a not-for-profit mental health and disability support organisation with services in Queensland, New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and Tasmania. Its services span mental health, disability and community care.

Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia
http://www.mifa.org.au/
Tel: 1800 985 944
The Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia represents at the national level the interests of its member organisations and people affected by mental illness. MIFA offers support and information about mental illnesses with a holistic approach to people with mental illness, their carers and families. Its website hosts a carers' forum.

SANE Australia
https://www.sane.org/families-carers
Tel: 1800 18 7263
SANE is a major charity that aims to help all Australians affected by mental illness, as well as their families and friends. It offers information about mental health and illness, getting help for mental illness, how to improve wellbeing, and guides and resources for carers.

Grow
http://www.grow.org.au/carer-program/
Tel: 1800 558 268
Grow is a community-based organisation which aims to help people recover from mental illness through its program of mutual support and personal development. Its 'Grow Better Together' program encourages and supports caregivers of people experiencing mental illness.

2.2 Carer Peak Bodies

Carers Australia
http://www.carersaustralia.com.au
Tel: 1800 242 636
Carers Australia is the national peak body representing Australia's carers, advocating on behalf of Australia's carers to influence policies and services at a national level. The program offers the opportunity for carers to talk to someone about the caring role with short term counselling, emotional and psychological support services for carers in need of support. NCCP is delivered through Carers Australia's network of Carer Associations in each state and territory.

Mental Health Australia
http://mhaustralia.org/
Mental Health Australia is an Australian non-government organisation which represents and promotes the interests of the national mental health sector and is committed to improve mental health for Australians. It represents mental health consumers, carers, special needs groups, clinical service providers, public and private mental health service providers, researchers and state/territory community mental health peak bodies.

Mental Health in Multicultural Australia (MHIMA)
http://www.mhima.org.au/
MHIMA is an organisation which aims to assist in building the capacity of Australia's multiculturally and linguistically diverse communities and to make strategic-level contributions to national, state and territory governments regarding mental health reform strategies and research and evaluation. Its website contains information and resources including mental health organisations and translated information and language services.

3. Government Assistance for Carers: Respite Services, Payments and Allowances

Mental Health Respite: Carer Support
https://www.dss.gov.au/disability-and-carers-programs-services-for-people-with-disability/mental-health-respite-carer-support-mhrcs
Mental Health Respite: Carer Support (MHR:CS) program provides carers with relief from the caring role, through in-home or out-of-home respite or social and recreational activities; carer support, including counselling, practical assistance, social inclusion activities, case management; and education, information and access including community mental health promotion. The MHR:CS funding is transitioning to the NDIS. As states and territories come on to the NDIS, this program will be progressively closed down.

Centrelink
https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/subjects/caring-someone-illness-or-disability
Tel: 132 717
Centrelink is part of the Australian Government Department of Social Services. Centrelink delivers a range of government payments and services for seniors, job seekers, students and trainees, families, carers, parents, people with disability, Indigenous Australians, and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Carer Payment
https://www.dss.gov.au/disability-and-carers/benefits-payments/carer-payment or https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/centrelink/carer-payment
Carer Payment provides income support to people who, because of the demands of their caring role, are unable to support themselves through substantial paid employment. Carer Payment is income and assets tested and paid at the same rate as other social security pensions.

Carer Allowance
https://www.dss.gov.au/disability-and-carers/benefits-payments/carer-allowance or https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/centrelink/carer-allowance?utm_id=7
Carer Allowance is an income supplement available to people who provide daily care and attention in a private home to a person with disability or a severe medical condition. Carer Allowance is not taxable or income and assets tested. It can be paid in addition to a social security income support payment.

Carer Supplement
https://www.dss.gov.au/disability-and-carers/benefits-payments/carer-supplement
Carer Supplement is an annual $600 payment and is paid in July each year to recipients of the Carer Allowance for each person being cared for.

4. Mental Health Resources and Organisations

4.1 Resources about Specific Mental Health Problems / for Specific Groups

Beyond Blue
https://www.beyondblue.org.au/family-and-friends
Tel: 1300 22 4636
Beyond Blue is an independent, not-for-profit organisation working to increase awareness and understanding of anxiety, depression and suicide in Australia. It offers information and support, a telephone helpline, and online forums.

Youth Beyond Blue
https://www.youthbeyondblue.com/
Tel: 1300 22 4636
Beyond Blue developed a website aimed at serving young people who feel down, are anxious or feel sad.  It offers a range of information, and services as well as apps and online chat.

Black Dog Institute
http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/index.cfm
The Black Dog Institute is a not-for-profit, educational, research, clinical and community-oriented facility offering specialist expertise in depression, bipolar disorder and suicide in Australia. It also offers support groups: https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/getting-help/clinics-support-groups/other-support-groups

Australian Borderline Personality Disorder Foundation (ABPDF)
https://www.bpdfoundation.org.au
ABPDF is a composed of consumers, carers and clinicians who support, promote and advocate for people living with borderline personality disorder.

Bipolar Australia
http://www.bipolaraustralia.org.au/
Bipolar Australia is an organisation created by people with bipolar disorder, their carers and family members which aims to assist people looking for support in the treatment and recovery from bipolar disorder.

Support Services for Voice Hearers (selected states only)

Hearing Voices Network SA
https://hvnsa.wordpress.com/about-the-hearing-voices-movement-approach/
Hearing Voices Network SA are passionate about raising awareness about voice hearing and other unusual experiences, and reducing fear, distress, and discrimination. Hearing Voices Network SA offers information and resources, as well as online and in person groups.

Voices Vic
https://www.unitingprahran.org.au/ourservices/voices-vic/#page_1
Voices Vic is a initiative of Uniting Prahran. Voices Vic is a state-wide award winning and research supported specialist program led by people with a lived experience, which seeks to improve the lives of people who hear voices. They offer one-on-one peer support, training, events and resources for voice-hearers and the wider community.

Hearing Voices Network WA (HVNWA)
https://www.rw.org.au/community-services/hearing-voices-network-of-wa/
HVNWA is a resource for people living in Western Australia who hear voices and experience other unusual perceptions, offering a place for the voice-hearing community to access relevant information, training, and hearing voices support groups.

Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health
https://orygen.org.au/
Orygen is a research and knowledge translation organisation focusing on mental ill-health in young people. Its work has created a new, more positive approach to the prevention and treatment of mental disorders, and has developed new models of care for young people with emerging disorders.

4.2 Crisis and Suicide Support

State crisis numbers:

NSW - 1800 011 511- Mental Health Line

VIC - 1300 651 251 - Suicide Help Line

QLD - 13 642255 - 1300 MHCALL - Mental Health Access Line

TAS - 1800 332 388 - Mental Health Services Helpline

SA - 13 14 65 - Mental Health Triage Service

WA - 1800 55 788 (Perth metro area) or 1800 676 822 (Peel area) - Mental Health Emergency Response Line

NT - 1800 682 288 - Northern Territory Mental Health Line

ACT - 1800 629 354 or (02) 6205 1065 - Access Mental Health

General crisis and suicide support:

Lifeline
https://www.lifeline.org.au/Home
Tel: 13 11 14
Lifeline connects people in Australia with care by providing services in suicide prevention, 24-hour crisis support and mental health support.  The website offers online chat and information resources.

Suicide Prevention Australia
http://suicidepreventionaust.org/
Suicide Prevention Australia provides national leadership for the suicide prevention sector in Australia.  It builds and facilitates partnerships to reduce the stigma around mental illness and suicide, and to assist the healing for people with lived experience of suicide attempts and suicide.

Suicide Call Back Service
https://www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au/concerned-about-someone/index
Tel: 1300 695 467
The Suicide Call Back Service provides crisis counselling across Australia 24 hours a day, seven days a week for people at risk of suicide, carers for someone who is suicidal, and those bereaved by suicide.

Life in Mind
https://www.lifeinmindaustralia.com.au/
Life in Mind is a national gateway connecting Australian suicide prevention services to each other and the community. Through the Life in Mind online portal, the project aims to reduce suicidal behaviours and suicide rates, as well as improve communications surrounding suicide attempts, response to suicide and its impacts.

5. Resources about Recovery

While there are no Australian websites specifically about recovery from a mental health problem, some Australian mental health community support services offer information about recovery and recovery-oriented practice. Also listed are two UK websites and an Australian government policy statement on recovery-oriented mental health services.

Mind Australia
https://www.mindaustralia.org.au/resources/recovery
Mind supports recovery from mental health problems and has a number of recovery-related resources including its Recovery College, which offers courses run by people with lived experience of mental illness as well as offering professional learning and development skills, and has its own website: http://www.recoverycollege.org.au/

Neami National
http://www.neaminational.org.au/our-approach/mental-health-recovery
Neami National is a community mental health service that has been supporting people living with mental illness to improve their health, live independently and pursue a life based on their own strengths, values and goals. It offers short-term and community outreach support, service coordination, housing and homelessness support, and community programs.

Mental Health Foundation UK
https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/r/recovery
This UK-based organisation offers information about recovery including the recovery process, supports for recovery, and tools to help service users and mental health services

Rethink Mental Illness UK
http://www.rethink.org/living-with-mental-illness/recovery
Also a UK-based organisation, Rethink Mental Health (UK) provides information about recovery and the kind of challenges to recovery that people with mental health problems can face.

Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council (2012) 'National Framework for Recovery Oriented Mental Health Services document: Guide for practitioners and providers'
https://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/content/67D17065514CF8E8CA257C1D00017A90/$File/recovgde.pdf

6. Complaints Commissions (Health and Mental Health) and Public Advocates

6.1 Complaints Commissions (Health and Mental Health)

Mental Health Complaints Commissioner (Victoria)
http://www.mhcc.vic.gov.au/
Tel: 1800 246 054
The Mental Health Complaints Commissioner encourages service users to consider making a complaint where necessary in order to improve services and experiences. Every person has the right to be heard, including people experiencing mental health problems, carers, family members, friends, advocates, staff and any other person who has concerns about a person's experience with a public mental health service.

Health Complaints Commissions (all states and territories)
http://www.mentalhealthcommission.gov.au/1318.aspx

ACT Health Services Commissioner: (02) 6205 2222

NSW Health Care Complaints Commission: 1800 043 159

NT Health and Community Services Complaints Commission: 1800 806 380

QLD Health Quality and Complaints Commission: 1800 077 308

SA Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner: (08) 8226 8666 or 1800 232 007

TAS Health Care Complaints Commission: 1800 001 170 or 1300 766 725

VIC Health Services Commissioner: 1800 136 066

WA Health and Disability Services Complaints Office: contactus@mentalhealth.wa.gov.au

6.2 Offices of the Public Advocate (Selected States and Territories)

The Office of the Public Advocate is an organisation empowered by law to promote and protect the rights and interests of people in the community who suffer from a condition or situation that makes them potentially vulnerable to abuse, exploitation or neglect, and also aims to eliminate such abuse, exploitation and neglect. The Office offers an advice service, community education, opportunities to volunteer, and information about guardianship and administration, powers of attorney and medical consent.

ACT: http://hrc.act.gov.au/public-advocate/

Queensland: http://www.justice.qld.gov.au/public-advocate

South Australia: http://www.opa.sa.gov.au/

Victoria: http://www.publicadvocate.vic.gov.au/

Western Australia: http://www.publicadvocate.wa.gov.au/

7. Supported Decision Making information

Following the introduction of its new Mental Health Act in 2014, Victoria became the first jurisdiction in Australia to make supported decision making the centrepiece of its mental health legislation. As a result, the following resources on supported decision making are from Victoria.

7.1 New Victorian Mental Health Act (2014)

Department of Health and Human Services Victoria 'Mental Health Act 2014 Handbook'
https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/mental-health/practice-and-service-quality/mental-health-act-2014-handbook

Legal Aid Victoria 'Introduction to the Mental Health Act 2014'
http://www.legalaid.vic.gov.au/information-for-lawyers/practice-resources/mental-health-law/introduction-to-mental-health-act-2014

7.2 Supported Decision Making Mechanisms and Related Agencies

Advance statements
https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/mental-health/practice-and-service-quality/mental-health-act-2014-handbook/recovery-and-supported-decision-making/advance-statements

Nominated persons
https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/mental-health/practice-and-service-quality/mental-health-act-2014-handbook/recovery-and-supported-decision-making/nominated-persons

Statement of rights
https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/mental-health/rights-and-advocacy/rights/rights-statements-of-rights

Second psychiatric opinion
https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/mental-health/practice-and-service-quality/mental-health-act-2014-handbook/recovery-and-supported-decision-making/second-psychiatric-opinions

Compulsory Treatment Orders
https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/about/publications/factsheets/Mental%20Health%20Act%202014%20-%20Compulsory%20Treatment%20Orders%20factsheet

Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA)
https://www.imha.vic.gov.au/
Tel: 1300 947 820
IMHA is a free, independent and confidential advocacy service for people on compulsory treatment orders under the Mental Health Act 2014 (Vic). IMHA can assist people to make decisions about their mental health assessment, treatment and recovery and to express their views and preferences to their treating team or other services. IMHA advocates are guided by what a person wants rather than what others may consider to be in their best interests and will arrange a qualified interpreter to assist, if requested.

Mental Health Tribunal
http://www.mht.vic.gov.au/

7.3 Downloadable Resources on Mental Health and Supported Decision-Making

Please find below some downloadable resources (in PDF format) on Mental Health and Supported Decision-Making that were developed as a result of the research underpinning this online resource.

For people with lived experience of mental illness, family carers and mental health practitioners:

For mental health practitioners:

8. Therapy and Counselling

Relationships Australia
http://www.relationships.org.au/
Tel: 1300 364 277
Relationships Australia provides relationship support services across the nation to enhance human and family relationships. It provides counselling, family and relationship courses, and professional training and development. It offers relationship advice topics, publications and crisis help and support.

Australian Counselling Association (ACA)
http://www.theaca.net.au/
ACA is Australia's largest single registration body for Counsellors and Psychotherapists with over 3,500 members. ACA serves a crucial role in advocating and advancing the profession of counselling and psychotherapy. Its website provides a search option for counsellors.

Australian Psychological Society (APS)
https://www.psychology.org.au/
APS is the leading organisation for psychologists in Australia and represents over 22,000 members. Its website offers a search option for psychology services.

Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP)
https://www.ranzcp.org/Home.aspx
With over 5,000 members, RANZCP is responsible for the training, educating and representation of psychiatrists in Australia and New Zealand. Its website offers a search option for psychiatrists.

MoodGYM Training Program
https://moodgym.anu.edu.au/welcome
Mood GYM is an internet-based therapy program designed to enable people to learn cognitive behaviour therapy skills for preventing and coping with depression.

Headspace: The National Youth Mental Health Foundation
http://headspace.org.au
Headspace is the National Youth Mental Health Foundation providing early intervention mental health services to 12-25 year olds. The service is designed to make it as easy as possible for a young person and their family to get the help they need for problems affecting their wellbeing. This covers four core areas: mental health, physical health, work and study support and alcohol and other drug services.