Find your local mental health service
Call the NSW Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511
If life is at risk please call Triple Zero (000) or go to the emergency department of your local hospital to receive immediate help.
You should call the Mental Health Line if you:
- Are contacting the Mental Health Service for the first time.
- Want information, advice or assessment of mental health problems.
- Would like to see a mental health worker.
This is a telephone-based triage service. Calls are answered 24 hours, 7 days a week, by a mental health clinician who can offer support and connect you with the appropriate local, public mental health service in NSW, including the Northern Sydney Local Health District. The service may then offer you an appointment at the community health centre, or a clinician may come to your home to complete an assessment and plan treatment with you.
The Mental Health Line is for anyone needing advice about mental health matters, including how to contact or connect with a mental health service.
The service is for people of all age groups, living in NSW, including consumers, their friends or family, members of the community or other health professionals..
To call someone currently admitted to a mental health inpatient unit
If you have a friend or relative currently admitted to one of our mental health inpatient units you can talk to them on the phone. They may not have their mobile with them, but you can call the general phone number of the hospital and ask to be put through to the mental health unit.
To contact a particular team or unit
If you need to contact an individual department in the district, please refer to the full NSLHD directory listing below.
headspace: support for 12 – 25 year olds
headspace services are for young people aged 12 – 25 years, and their families. headspace services are designed to make it as easy as possible for a young person to get the help they need for problems affecting their wellbeing. The service has a no wrong door policy. This means a young person (or someone who cares about them) can contact the service for help or support and headspace staff will take the time to figure out what help is needed, from whom, and ensure connection. This covers four core areas: mental health, physical health, work and study support and alcohol and other drug services.
In the Northern Sydney region there are two headspaces centres that young people can access; both are open Monday to Friday, 9am – 5.30pm:
headspace Chatswood phone: 8021 3668
headspace Brookvale phone: 9937 6500
Good to know
Northern Sydney Local Health District (NSLHD) Mental Health Drug & Alcohol (MHDA) provides a comprehensive range of mental health and drug & alcohol services which includes prevention and health promotion, telephone triage, assessment, early intervention, acute inpatient and emergency services, longer term inpatient and community support, including residential programs, specialist services and recovery services. These clinical and wellbeing-based services are offered to people living in our community across the lifespan
Read the NSLHD Mental Health Drug & Alcohol Declaration and Statement of Intention to find out more.
Family and Carer Information Guide
Families and carers play a vital role in supporting someone living with a mental health issue. This information guide is for all families and carers of people accessing the mental health service in Northern Sydney:
Mental Health Family and Carer Information Guide
There are a number of positive things that you can do as a family member or carer, to help your relative or friend, which can also help in making the situation feel less stressful:
- Find out as much as you can about the illness, medication and other treatments
- Get to know the Mental Health Service clinicians working with you and the support services available in your area
- Learn about what you can do to assist your loved one to recover
- Get emotional support for yourself or talk with other people who share a similar experience
- Get practical support when you need it
- Make sure you're looking after yourself by getting enough sleep, eating healthy meals, taking breaks and exercising regularly
This guide has been prepared by the mental health service, in partnership with carers, families and friends of people with a lived experience and the support organisations that we work with.
Visiting a mental health inpatient unit
Visitors are welcome in our mental health units. Friends and family are important in supporting recovery. It can be helpful for visitors to know about some of the differences between mental health units and other hospital units:
Mental Health inpatient units generally have secure entry. Staff will escort you into the unit to visit your friend or relative, and then escort you out when you're ready to leave.
Certain things aren't allowed in the unit, in order to help keep everyone safe. These things are referred to as contraband, and include things like weapons and lighters. You should check with the unit to find out about contraband. Visitor's belongings may be searched prior to entry to the unit. You won't be able to take things like handbags, backpacks or mobile phones into the unit; we will provide a secure space where you can store these.
There are times when the units aren't open to visitors, such as during treatment times. It is always a good idea to phone the unit in advance of your visit to ensure it will be a good time for you to come.
Children are welcome to visit friends and relatives in the mental health unit. All units have a procedure and specific space allocated to support visits from children. It is very important to phone the mental health unit before bringing a child to visit someone in the unit, to ensure things are in place to support a positive and stress free visit.
Cards and gifts are lovely to receive while in hospital, however in the mental health unit there may be some limitations about what can be brought in. Please check with hospital staff in advance as to what gifts would be appropriate. Many people often appreciate useful things, like nice soap or shampoo; new socks; or a photo of special people, places or pets.
Unfortunately, pets can't come and visit, however many of our units have a pet therapy program in place.
If you aren't sure, please ring the unit and ask.
Smoke free Health Care Policy
All NSW Health facilities are smoke free. This means that staff, patients and visitors can't smoke in our buildings or grounds. The aim of the policy is to reduce the risks to health associated with tobacco use to NSW Health facilities and reduce community exposure to second-hand smoke.
People admitted to mental health inpatient units who are smokers will be supported manage their nicotine dependence (cravings and withdrawal symptoms) while in hospital. This includes being offered nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and referral to Quitline (phone 137878). At least three days' supply of NRT is provided to people who smoke on discharge and a referral to their GP is provided so that they can access subsidised NRT in the community.
Accessing mental health services and other supports across NSW
The Wayahead Directory provides a comprehensive list of both government and community managed supports and services across NSW, and can be accessed here: www.directory.wayahead.org.au
YouthSource: YouthSource is a free app and website developed by the NSLHD Youth Health Promotion team. It includes a comprehensive service directory to meet the health and wellbeing needs of young people in our local area. Access it here: http://youthsource.com.au/
Help to access the NDIS: if you, or someone you know, experiences mental illness and are thinking about applying for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), there are a number of local organisations that can help you. These services are free and include assisting you to gather any documents you need, completing forms and submitting your NDIS access request, as well as assisting you throughout the NDIS assessment process.
Help to get the NDIS
Grief, loss and trauma
This fact sheet was written by local experts, with specific reference to local services. It helps you find support, or be a support person, in time of trauma, loss and grief. It provides a framework for helping to understand if and when grief evolves from a natural healing process into something needing professional support.
Seeking help for grief loss and trauma
Mental Health, Drug & Alcohol Newsletter
Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol Newsletter comes out every second month and keeps you up to date with the latest news and events from the service.
2017 Perinatal Depression & Anxiety Awareness Week - 'Check up from the neck up' at the Beaches Market, Friday 17 November - Event flyer