Are you looking after a person with mental illness? Find support and services to help you

4 minute read

Many people look after someone with a mental illness – 1 in 5 Australians will experience mental illness at some time in their life. Their relatives and friends will often be the ones providing care, which might be for a short time or over the long term.

It can be particularly stressful to support a loved one who has a condition that affects their mood, thinking and behaviour. If you are looking after someone with a mental illness, you need help and support too.

Getting help for yourself

If you are stressed and need someone to talk to, call:

  • Mental Health Carer Helpline on 1300 554 660
  • Lifeline on 13 11 14

Lifeline has a tool kit for carers of people with a mental illness, which provides information about:

  • the impact of being a carer
  • strategies for supporting and sustaining yourself as a carer
  • positive ways to help and support a person living with a mental illness
  • carer’s rights and entitlements
  • where to go for help

You can also talk with other carers on the:

Online help and information

If you would like to know more about mental illness and caring for someone with a mental illness, many organisations have websites that can help:

Help in each state and territory

Each state and territory has organisations that provide support and services for people with mental illness and their carers. The key organisations are:

Help in an emergency

If the person you care for has a mental health crisis, call your state or territory crisis assessment and treatment team for immediate help. These are:

  • Australian Capital Territory – Mental Health Triage Service 1800 629 354
  • New South Wales – Mental Health Line 1800 011 511
  • Northern Territory – Crisis Assessment Telephone Triage Service 1800 682 288
  • Queensland – 24-hour mental health care 1300 642 255
  • South Australia – Mental Health Triage Service 13 14 65
  • Tasmania – Mental Health Services Helpline 1800 332 388
  • Victoria – Mental Health Services (visit the website to choose the service for your region)
  • Western Australia – Mental Health Emergency Response Line 1800 676 822