Mental Health difficulties should not be hidden -
end the stigma and seek help...
At sharc, we recognise that young people entering our service for alcohol or other drug recovery can also have co-occurring mental health conditions making recovery more complex. Although anxiety and /or depression commonly co-occur with alcohol or other drug problems, many people do not recognise or respond to symptoms in themselves or others. Although we provide support and helpful programs, we also offer referral to appropriate clinical and non-clinical services as needed. We have collaborative agreements with mental health support services to ensure continuity of care and clinical support as needed. Family support is also available.
The idea that people can pull themselves out of mental health difficulties through will-power or that only ‘weak’ people get these problems is not a helpful attitude and may result in avoidance or reluctance to seek help. Some people may not have insight; others cannot take effective action to help them selves and are more likely to get help if someone else close to them suggests it. It is important that families and carers to be involved in decisions regarding treatment and individual care planning. Support for family members is available through the Family Drug Help page on this site and other services listed in links below.
The message from organisations like Beyond Blue, SANE and the Mental Health Foundation of Australia is that depression and anxiety are common and can be ‘recovered’ from if help is sought. They don't fix themselves. Even mild to moderate symptoms of anxiety and depression can reduces a persons productivity, ability to concentrate / make decisions and increase their risk of not connecting to the help they need to reduce, manage or eliminate these disabling symptoms. As symptoms can occur to anyone at any age, it is important to monitor our own and others mental health as on ongoing process and actively challenge unhelpful thinking, feelings and behaviour. As anyone can experience an episode(s) of problematic mental health, self or GP assisted screening promotes early intervention and can prevent escalation to greater levels of disability. See your GP, use a helpline or visit an on-line service.
Watch a video explaining how dual diagnosis can impact on families.
Resources for individual’s, friends and family members
Information on mental health and related substance use disorders can be found through the links in this section.
This website offers links, information and resources. The helpline provides free, confidential information, support, referral, and education options for family, carers, and friends of people with a mental illness. Call ARAFEMI Carer Helpline on 1300 550 265, or visit www.arafemi.org.au
The national depression initiative for detailed information including fact sheets.
Provides information on treatments for depression based on the latest scientific evidence, as well as symptom quizzes and relaxation downloads, and links to other helpful resources
A counselling program of Odyssey House for families affected by a young adult’s drug use and mental health issues. The program provides individual family sessions and multi-family group sessions
St John of God Pinelodge Clinic
St John of God Pinelodge Clinic specialises in psychiatric and drug and alcohol rehabilitation. We are a professional multi-disciplinary team whose aim is to 'bring lives back into balance.' Pinelodge Clinic is a division of St John of God Healthcare, a Catholic not-for-profit health care provider. As well as outpatient and inpatient care, we provide Social Outreach and Advocacy services which reach out to people experiencing disadvantage to improve health and wellbeing.
Grow is a Not for Profit Organisation that offers mutual support/self help groups that focus on a consumer driven recovery program developed over 55 years of operation. Our 12 Step Program encourages & motivates people to develop and grow their own positive mental health and wellbeing . Grow (Vic) has also received Australian Government Funding through FaHCSIA to deliver our Program to meet the needs of Caregivers and families and friends of those experiencing mental health, & other, issues via our “Grow –Better Together” project.
1800 558 268 or 03 95 282 977
"Grow - Better Together" support for Families/Caregivers
“Grow-Better Together”, a peer support service for caregivers of people experiencing mental illness, delivers aspects of the Grow Program through structured, twice monthly meetings. It deals with the day by day needs of its members, encouraging them to use their own resources and the Grow Program to change for the better their thinking, their talk and their ways. The outcomes include improved family resilience and interpersonal relationships.
1800 558 268 or 03 95 282 977
The national youth mental health service for 18 – 25yo. Site has information on mental health, drug and alcohol and wellbeing. Also has an area for Parents and Carers.
Lantern…shining light in mental health
Formally known as ReachOut Mental Health. Offers services to support recovery for people with mental illness. Lantern also provides support for people with mental health diagnosis to access appropriate housing. Their Resource Centre provides an environment where individuals can explore activities designed to support personal growth, relationship building and social connection. The Blossom project provides a safe and supportive environment for young women 16-25 with anxiety & depression to connect with others and to explore their personal life strategies.
Mental Illness Fellowship
the national body with state and territory member organisations that run programs to support and represent people with a severe mental illness and their carers.
Helpline: 03 8486 4222
A group-based education and support program for families of people with mental illness. The Program offers a non-clinical approach to the many complex issues faced by families of people with a mental illness. It provides practical supports to develop effective strategies for caring for relatives, yourself and other family members.
Well Ways Duo
A support and information program for families and friends of people with mental illness and co-existing substance use (dual diagnosis). The Well Ways Duo program aims to increase the capacity of families and friends of people with dual diagnosis to care effectively for themselves, the person with the dual diagnosis and other family members.
Bookings and information: 03 8486 4232 or email email@example.com
Mind Your Head
A booklet (from Moreland Hall) developed as a resource for people wanting to know more about the relationship between mental health and substance use. The book provides information on different drugs and their effects on mental health, strategies for looking after your mental health, and getting help and support. The book is available for $6 (plus p&h) from the Australian Drug Foundation Bookshop (books, dvds, pamphlets, cd-roms, posters and postcards).
Call DrugInfo on 1300 85 85 84
A state-wide counselling and telephone information service that specialises in the treatment of tranquiliser dependency (Benzodiazepines and analgesics), anxiety, depression, sleep disorders and panic attacks. The website offers fact sheets plus information about group therapy programs and counselling services.
Call 1300 273 266, or visit www.reconnexion.org.au
Conducts innovative programs and campaigns to improve the lives of people living with mental illness, their family and friends.
Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council (VMIAC)
Provides support, advocacy and referrals to people who are experiencing, or have experienced mental distress
Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP)
Helps people to work at staying well and to have a plan if become unwell. Learn to know what triggers may negatively affect your mental health and the warning signs that things aren’t going so well. Developing a plan of what to do when becoming unwell, self care strategies, who you want to be contacted. For more information, contact Ruah on 03 9227 7012, or visit www.mentalhealthrecovery.com
Free Online Self-Help
Free online psychological assessment, self-help treatment, low cost therapist assisted treatment.
For people who are thinking about suicide, for those who are worried about someone else and for those who have been affected by suicidal behaviour. Call 1300 651 251, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
A self-help interactive program with modules for depression, generalised anxiety & worry, social anxiety, relationship breakdown, and loss & grief. Provides evidence-based information and teaches strategies drawn from cognitive, behavioural and interpersonal therapies as well as relaxation and physical activity.
Suite of online self-help services is based on the best available evidence and evaluated through high quality research. They can be used anonymously, 24 hours a day, from anywhere in the world. All programs are provided free of charge thanks to funding by the Australian Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing.
An online support group for people over 18 years affected by depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders and borderline personality disorder. Provides discussion space for consumers and carers and is moderated by consumers.
An interactive program for preventing and coping with depression. Teaches self-help skills drawn from cognitive behaviour therapy. Provides free CBT.
Provides consumer and research reviews, and rankings of online e-health programs for mental and physical health disorders.
Provides a space for people affected by depression and anxiety to exchange ideas, experiences or find information and support. It also includes practical information for relatives and friends including how they can help.
Black Dog Institute
A educational and research facility offering expertise in depression and bipolar disorder. Has fact sheets, mood charts, information about clinics and ‘e-cards’ for depression (sending someone a card to acknowledge what they are feeling.
Bipolar Mood Disorder
Website with self assessment questionnaire (online or downloadable), information, resources eg. mood diary that can be downloaded.
The Lifeline Mental Health Resource Centre provides a 24 hour telephone counselling service and also provides self-help toolkits and fact sheets.
For 24 hour counselling, please call 13 11 14
For self-help tool kits, click here
Lifeline Service Finder
Lists details of health and community service providers. You can search their databases using keywords for the type of service and their locations.
Lifeline's Just Ask
Lifeline's rural mental health information service, providing information and referral for people with mental health problems, and to friends, relatives and others who want to know how to help.
Find a GP or service
Primary Care Partnerships State-wide Health Services Directory is Australia's most extensive directory of community support services providing access to health, welfare and community service records.
Not getting the help you need?
Please call the Mental Health Law Centre on 1800 620 285
Department of Human Services - Mental Health
Victorian government website from the Department of Human Services. It includes contact details, maps and descriptions of mental health services, including state-wide, specialist and forensic (related to the court) services and a link to another DHS website – Drugs and related services. This is a good practical site.