If you or someone close to you is experiencing an emergency, or is at immediate risk of harm, call triple zero (000). To talk to someone now, call Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.
What is mental health?
The term ‘mental health’ refers to your state of mind. Good mental health allows you to feel confident in dealing with life’s challenges. Poor mental health can make it difficult to cope with day-to-day life.
Why is good mental health important?
Looking after your mental health is as important as looking after your physical health. Good mental health helps you:
- appreciate and enjoy life
- deal with life’s challenges
- form and maintain positive relationships
- reach your potential
Many people experience a mental health issue at some point in their life. But if things don't seem to get better, it could be a sign of a mental illness.
Mental illnesses can have a big impact on how you think, feel and behave.
Just like physical illnesses, mental illnesses need to be treated to get better. So, if you think you could have a mental health issue, think about seeking help.
What things can affect mental health?
A number of factors can negatively affect your mental health, including:
- work-related stress
- bullying and harassment
- alcohol and drug abuse
- physical health problems
- grief and loss
- negative self-talk and low self-esteem
- biological factors, such as genetics, hormones and chemistry
- financial financial worries or stress
- family or relationship issues
- feeling isolated
If you’re having a difficult time, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your mental health is in danger. But it’s worth talking to someone to get some advice.
CHECK YOUR SYMPTOMS — Use the Symptom Checker and find out if you need to seek medical help.
How can I improve my mental health and wellbeing?
Ways to support and maintain good mental health include:
- exercising regularly
- eating a healthy diet
- getting enough sleep
- if you’re using drugs or alcohol, cutting down or stopping
- talking to and socialising with your friends and family
- relaxing in ways that suit you
Although you can take steps to nurture your mental health, it’s very important to seek help and support when you need it. Mental health concerns affect many people across all ages, cultures and walks of life.
If your mental health does not improve, see your doctor. They can organise a mental health plan for you. Your doctor can also refer you to mental health professionals for treatment.
FIND A HEALTH SERVICE — The Service Finder can help you find doctors, pharmacies, hospitals and other health services.
Where can I get help if I am feeling suicidal?
If you, or someone else, is at immediate risk of suicide, call triple zero (000) for an ambulance now.
If you are in a personal crisis or are feeling suicidal, contact:
- Lifeline — call 13 11 14, text 0477 13 11 14 or chat online
- Suicide Call Back Service (all ages) — call 1300 659 467
Where can I find support for mental health issues?
There are resources, available online, in person, or over the phone, that can provide mental health information, support and advice.
Lack of self-esteem and confidence can affect your mental health.
You can find more advice on improving self-esteem on these websites:
Relationship issues with partners, friends and family members can all affect your mental health.
You can get online support and self-help programs through:
- Beyond Blue — peer support forums, including one on relationship and family issues
- Breakup shakeup — a mobile phone app developed by ReachOut
- E-couch — online programs developed by the Australian National University
Support can also be found by calling:
Infographic: 24/7 mental health services
Bullying and harassment
Work or study stress
You can also find advice on:
- Heads Up — how to talk to your employer about your mental health
- Headspace — information for young people on how to manage your mental health in the workplace
Black Dog Institute also offer a range of mental health training programs for the workplace.
Many workplaces offer an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), a confidential support for their employees. It might be worth checking to see if your workplace has this.
Often places of study like schools, universities and TAFE colleges have their own support services. It would be worth checking these out. Or try these resources:
Problems with money can cause stress and have a negative impact on your mental health. There are services and resources available to:
- teach you about money management
- provide advice and aid in times of financial difficulty
- help you access a possible crisis payment
Online resources include:
Your mental health can be impacted by the use of drugs or alcohol.
To speak with someone about substance abuse and mental health, you can call:
- National Alcohol and Other Drugs Hotline — 1800 250 015
- Family Drug Support — 1300 368 186
- Stimulant Treatment Line — 1800 101 188
You can find online support at:
- Counselling Online
- Alcoholics Anonymous Australia
- Narcotics Anonymous Australia
- Department of Health and Aged Care on how to quit smoking
Grief and loss
As you move through life, you are likely to experience grief and loss. This can impact your mental health. You can find support through:
Where can I find support for mental illness?
Support and information on mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety can be found online.
Depression and anxiety
- Borderline Personality Disorder Australia
- Borderline Personality Disorder Foundation
- Blue Knot Foundation — recovery from trauma
- ReachOut — support service for young people
- SANE Australia
You can also call the Butterfly Foundation helpline on 1800 33 4673.
If you want general mental health support and information:
- Visit the Head to Health website, or call on 1800 595 212 from 8:30am to 5pm on weekdays (public holidays excluded), for advice, assessment and referral into local mental health services.
- Visit the Black Dog Institute website for resources, support and self-help tools.
- Visit the SANE Australia website, or call on 1800 18 7263.
- Visit the Transcultural Mental Health Centre website for translated mental health resources in over 40 languages.
- ReachOut.com is a youth mental health service. Visit their website for online help.
- Headspace provides mental health support for ages 12-25. Visit their website, call them on 1800 650 890, or make an appointment at your nearest headspace centre.
- Kids Helpline is available for ages 5-25. Visit their website or call them on 1800 55 1800.
Parents or guardians
There are mental health resources for parents, carers, and guardians. You can:
- call PANDA on 1300 726 306
- visit the COPE website
- visit the Beyond Blue Relationship and family issues peer support forum
With ageing comes change in your life and physical health. This can impact your mental health. Mental health information and support for older adults can be found here:
If you are caring for an older person with a mental health condition, you can visit My Aged Care for support and information.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- Visit the 13YARN website, or call on 13 92 76, for mental health support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
- Visit the Rainbow Door website.
- Visit the QLife Website to speak with someone online, or call on 1800 184 527.
People living with disability
- Visit the Disability Gateway website for mental health support for people living with disabilities.
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Last reviewed: August 2022