There are a number of excellent resources to support children and adolescents with their psychosocial and mental health.
- In an emergency, please call 000.
If a child, adolescent, or parent is having difficulties with depression, anxiety or behaviour, visiting the local GP is a good first place to start.
- The GP can provide initial assessment and medical treatment, and refer to a mental health professional if necessary.
- GPs can create a Mental Health Plan which will enable the patient to access services and receive Medicare rebates under the Medicare Better Access initiative.
- Alternatively, the GP can refer the patient to a Psychiatrist or Paediatrician for assessment and diagnosis. The Psychiatrist or Paediatrician can then refer directly to allied health and mental health services without a Mental Health Plan once a diagnosis has been made.
Online and telephone support
Beyond Blue - Youth
- 1300 224636
Beyond Blue (youth) provides information for adolescents and young adults on depression and anxiety including symptom checklists. They also provide 24 hour telephone and online-chat services. All calls and chats are one-on-one with a trained mental health professional, and completely confidential.
Bite Back: Online positive psychology from the Black Dog Institute
This positive psychology website run by the Black Dog Institute includes activities and information aimed at building resilience in young people and improving their overall wellbeing. Young people can discover ways to amplify the good stuff in life, share real and personal stories with others, check out videos, blogs and interviews of interesting people, and check and track their mental fitness.
The Black Dog Institute who runs Bite Back is also taking referrals for patients aged 8-18 years for their Child and Adolescent Clinic. They offer both face-to-face sessions in their Sydney offices and telehealth services for patients in regional and rural Australia.
Patients will need a referral from their GP or Psychiatrist to make an appointment. The referral can be faxed to (02) 9382 8510 or emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Brave4you: Online anxiety treatment for children (8-12) and teens (12-17)
The BRAVE Program is an interactive, online program for the prevention and treatment of childhood and adolescent anxiety. The programs are free, and provide ways for children and teenagers to better cope with their worries.
There are also programs for parents. Any child or teen who worries about things will find the program useful.
The resource has been created in collaboration with beyondblue, Griffith University and the University of Queensland.
Chilled Plus: Online treatment for adolescents with anxiety and depression
Chilled Plus is an online treatment program for adolescents with both anxiety and depression. In this individual treatment program, participants learn creative ways to manage emotions and accomplish immediate goals.
This cognitive behavioural treatment incorporates the latest research and techniques in working with motivation and negative emotions. Therapists in the program have expertise in working with adolescents.
The treatment involves adolescents working through 8 online modules. Each module is accompanied by a 30 minute weekly phone call with a therapist. The adolescents' parents also speak with the therapist throughout treatment. All treatment is done online/over the phone.
eheadspace is part of headspace, the National Youth Mental Health Foundation. Headspace is a confidential, free, anonymous, secure space where 12-25 year olds can chat, email or speak with qualified youth mental health professionals. Young people can contact eHeadspace if they need advice, are worried about their mental health or are feeling isolated or alone. eheadspace can help with a issues like bullying, drug and alcohol issues, depression and anxiety, relationships, concerns about friends, fitting in and isolation. They have experts who can provide work and study advice to young people and specialist support to parents and carers who are worried about a young person aged 12 - 25.
headspace offers support to young people in person through a network of 80 centres nationwide. Headspace centres provide face-to-face information, support and services to young people, aged 12 to 25 years, and their families and friends. headspace can help with significant changes in thoughts, feelings and/or behaviour, bullying, and generally not feeling oneself. headspace also has youth friendly general practitioners (GPs) and health nurses who can help with any physical health issues. General site:
- 1800 55 1800
Kids Helpline is a free, private and confidential, telephone and online counselling service specifically for young people aged between 5 and 25 years.
- On-line text chat: www.lifeline.org.au/Find-help/Online-Services/crisis-chat/default.aspx
- 13 11 1
Lifeline is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
- (02) 8029 7777
ReachOut is an Australian youth mental health service. They provide a mobile-friendly website and forums for youth to access help, information and support no matter where they are. Everything on ReachOut.com is evidence based and has been created by both experts and young people.
Reachout (for Parents)
The aim of ReachOut Parents is to help parents:
- develop and maintain secure and stable relationships with their teenager by learning more about what they might be experiencing or issues they might be going through
- support their teenager and teach them how to seek help and work through issues independently
- learn about mental health issues that often have their onset during adolescence, including what to be aware of, and how to get help for their teenager if and when they need it
- improve the wellbeing and resilience of the whole family.
SANE Australia Helpline
- 1800 187 263
The SANE Helpline is a mental health information hotline. It provides advice regarding symptoms, treatments, medications and where to go for support, as well as help for carers. Easy to read pamphlets and other information are also sent out on request.
Mindfulness | meditation apps
Smiling Mind: Mindfulness Meditations
Smiling Mind is a web-based and app-based program developed by psychologists and educators to help bring wellbeing to people’s lives. Their mindfulness meditation programs are designed to assist people in dealing with the pressure, stress and challenges of daily life.
They have programs for young people aged 7- 9yrs, 10-12yrs, 13-15yrs, 16-18yrs and for adults. Smiling Mind is a not-for-profit organisation and programs are free.
Stop, Breathe & Think: Guided Mindfulness Meditations
The Stop, Breathe & Think programs are designed to bring daily calm and peace of mind through regular practice. Based on how you are feeling, the App recommends short guided meditations.
The App has a free Basics pack and offers in App purchases for extra features.
Mental Health Directory (handout)
The Mental Health Directory for patients and families is a printable handout that provides contact details for a range of mental health services available in Greater Sydney and regional NSW. It also provides links to electronic resources and e-mental health programmes as well as phone numbers for agencies that provide support via telephone. The list is not exhaustive but should serve as a guide on resources available.