A sensible place to go if you suspect that you, or that someone in your care, may have any mental health issue is your GP.
If it can be diagnosed then it can at least be managed, and hopefully treated as well.
For things like anxiety and depression – and with your GP’s referral – the Medicare rebate is available for up to 10 counselling or group therapy sessions each calendar year. Talk to your GP.
There are hundreds of other neurological conditions though, such as bipolar, autism, cerebral palsy and dementia.
The NDIS also recognises mental health disabilities that prevent or limit a person’s capacity to work. It will provide support once the case has been deemed eligible. Visit www.ndis.gov.au.
Many organisations will also come to your attention around Mental Health Day (October 10 internationally), Week (nationally) or Month (some states).
They’ll help raise awareness of the topic, make you aware of what they provide, and perhaps ask for some support themselves.
To give you some examples, first up there’s Lifeline who provide 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention. They also have a plethora of information about dealing with various issues on their website.
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Lifeline’s crisis support line is 13 11 14 and the website is www.lifeline.org.au. That also lists ways they can be contacted by people who are deaf or need to speak in a language other than English.
www.eheadspace.org.au offers online counselling to 12 to 25 year olds and their families. You can also call 1800 650 890 to speak with them if you prefer.
Kids Helpline, 1800 55 1800 offers direct help to children who need to talk to someone as well as information for their carers. You can find out more by visiting kidshelpline.com.au.
If someone you know has taken their own life then the Suicide Call Back Service, 1300 659 467 “provides free phone, video and online counselling for anyone affected by suicide.” Also visit www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au.
Mensline Australia, 1300 78 99 78, provides “Support for men concerned about their own violent behaviour”.
Sane Australia’s helpline is 1800 18 SANE (7263). This provides info, advice and referral to anyone concerned about mental illness.
www.sane.org has helpful information, as well as links to a forum if you want to join some online discussions.
Beyondblue offers support 24/7 on 1300 22 4636. They also work to address issues associated with depression, anxiety and related substance misuse disorders. Visit www.beyondblue.org.au.
At Ease was developed to help past and present ADF personnel as well as their family members. For details visit at-ease.dva.gov.au.