Where Do I Start?

My friend or family member is experiencing a mental health crisis, where do I go for help?

If you are worried they could hurt themselves or someone else, call 000. Otherwise, you can call the Access Mental Health Team on 1800 629 354 or 02 6205 1065 to be connected with specialist mental health services.

Support can also be obtained from:


Am I a carer?

You might be. A mental health carer is a person who provides care and support to a person with mental ill health. This could include helping with tasks of day-to-day life, like groceries, transport or chores, managing medications, emotional and social support. You don’t have to live with the person or be their main support to be a mental health carer. People of all ages can be carers, including children.

Not everyone likes to use the word carer. You might call yourself a family member, friend or supporter, but many mental health services use the term ‘carer’ it to identify who is supporting someone. Looking out for the word ‘carer’ can help you find supports and information to help you supporting your child, spouse or friend.

You can also be a nominated person nominated by a person with mental ill health to help them make decisions, express their views and receive information about their treatment, care and support . To find out what this means, go to the page on Carers and Decision Making.


My friend or family member isn’t having a crisis, but I need to find a service to help them.

You can go over to the Navigating the System section and look at the different levels of stepped care staged system of mental health services that match to a person’s mental health need and services that correspond with them. This can help you work out which service to contact.


I need support myself so I can keep supporting them.

There are supports for families and carers listed in the Supports for Carers section. If you’re unsure, you can call the Carer Gateway on 1800 422 737.


I think a mental health service is doing something wrong.

You can go to the Rights of Carers module to learn about your rights or go to the Providing feedback and making complaints page to find an advocate to help you.


I need help with all these new words.

The Language Guide explains many of the hard words and phrases mental health services use. You may also see words underlined like this on some pages. If you click on one of these words, a definition will pop up to explain the term.

You can also search for words in the search bar to find their definition.