If you are experiencing depression and/or anxiety and wondering where to get help, remember that you don’t have to deal with this on your own. But finding support that meets your particular needs can be confusing and overwhelming. We’ve put together this guide to help you understand what support is available for you.
If you are experiencing depression or anxiety, it’s important to remember that there are effective treatments and services available to support you. Getting help earlier can reduce the impact on other aspects of your life and improve your recovery. Here are some mental health professionals who might be able to help:
Your local GP will help you to understand what’s going on for you in regards to your mental health. GPs are trained to be the first point of contact to help you figure out how to address mental health concerns. They’ll work with you to understand the problem, rule out physical causes, and refer you to other help if necessary.
If you’re nervous that your GP won’t ‘get’ what you’re going through, you could look online for a GP who lists ‘mental health’ as an area of interest. You could also speak to the receptionist at your local practice about the best doctor to see.
Your GP might suggest a mental health-care plan, which is essentially a document that says what you and your doctor have agreed is your goal in seeking support. A mental health-care plan guarantees you ten sessions with a mental health professional that will be subsidised by Medicare.
Psychologists and psychiatrists are mental health professionals, often referred to by a GP. Psychiatrists are doctors who specialise in mental health, and are able to prescribe medication where necessary. Psychologists have specialised training in diagnosing, treating and preventing mental health disorders, but don’t write prescriptions.
Head to beyondblue’s directory of mental health practitioners to search for a GP or mental health professional in your area.
A number of online, research-based and community-led organisations exist that provide information about and access to tools to assist with depression and anxiety. Some of these are:
This Australia-wide government organisation provides mental health support that can help you with depression, anxiety and other mental health concerns. They provide free online and phone counselling, and have treatment centres located all around Australia that you can visit.
Kids Helpline is a support service for young people aged 5–25. They provide free online and phone counselling and are available 24/7. You can also request the same counsellor every time.
Black Dog Institute
This research and treatment facility specialises in mental health, including depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder. Their website has information about mental health issues, including self-tests and suggestions for what you can do right now.
Provides information on depression and anxiety, including symptom checklists and details of additional support services.
This mental health organisation provides information and resources for people with complex mental health issues, and has a hotline and forums where you can chat with other people.
Head to Health
Head to Health makes your search for support easier by pointing you to available mental health information, programs and services from publicly funded providers.
Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety and Depression (CRUfAD)
This research facility provides online and in-person treatment for anxiety and depression.
This international not-for-profit organisation provides tips for managing mental health and wellness.
Mental Health Carers Australia
This organisation is for friends and family members supporting people through mental health concerns.
There are a lot of places online that can support you with a variety of strategies for managing symptoms of depression and anxiety. Some suggestions are:
ReachOut’s Tools and Apps collection has some more suggestions to help you manage depression or anxiety. These have been reviewed by young people and clinical professionals.
If you or someone around you is in immediate danger, call 000 or go to an emergency department.
Another option in a crisis is to contact your local crisis assessment and treatment team. This is a team that provides immediate support during a mental health crisis, and they’re available 24/7:
If you’re feeling suicidal, unsafe or extremely distressed and need to talk to someone right now, the following services are available 24 hours a day:
Visit our urgent help page for more info, including telephone counselling services and helplines.
Also check the related topics:Depression Anxiety What is it like getting help? Helping a friend