If life is at risk please call Triple Zero (000) or go to the emergency department of your local hospital to receive immediate help.
Call the NSW mental health line on 1800 011 511
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, seven 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. 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.
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 cigarette lighters and weapons. 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. 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.
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. To do this, you can call the general phone number of the hospital and ask to be put through to the mental health unit.
For more information, visit the
NSLHD Mental health service page.
Support for families and carers
Living with mental health challenges can have a profound impact, both on the person experiencing it, and on family and friends who are caring for them. If someone you care for is living with mental health issues, especially if this is new for you, it is likely that you're already feeling worried, overwhelmed or perhaps wondering what lies ahead.
In Australia, around one in five people will be affected by mental illness each year. While each person's experience of mental distress is different, it is important to remember that treatment options are available, and many people recover fully or find that the symptoms can be well managed. Family and friends play a vital role in supporting someone with a lived experience and with good information, support and assistance, your caregiver contribution can be a positive and life enhancing one for everyone.
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
Family and carer mental health program
The family and carer mental health program focuses on improving the wellbeing of families and carers of people living with mental health challenges, as well as promoting the recovery of the people they support. Families and carers play a critical role in promoting positive mental health and recovery, together with consumers, clinicians and relevant professionals.
Carers need support, information and education to help sustain them in this role.
The program focuses on:
- Family inclusive mental health services – through expert advice and consultation by specialist staff to embed best practice culture in service delivery;
- Engaging and including families and carers in the service system and being responsive to their unique needs;
- Providing education, training, individual support and advocacy services for families and carers;
- Working in partnership with families and carers to improve awareness of and access to a diversity of services relevant to their needs.
The program provides comprehensive support for families and carers through the public mental health system and the community managed service sector, and links with existing local programs to provide a balanced and effective system of support.
In Northern Sydney Local Health District, Parramatta Mission provides specialist mental health family and carer services, including education, training, individual support and advocacy services.
Parramatta Mission can be contacted at 8599 4855 or email
(mental health specific emotional support, information, advocacy and education for families and carers)
Tel: 8599 4855
Carer information, support and counselling
Tel: 1800 242 636
|Mental Health Carers NSW
Tel: 1300 554 660
NSLHD Carer Support Service
Northern Sydney Local Health District Local education, support and activities
Tel: 9462 9488
Respite Services – Your Side
In-home and out-of-home respite
Tel: 1300 134 332
Support, events, education & workshops
Help and Support Lines
|Mental Health Telephone Line
||Tel: 1800 011 511
||Tel: 13 11 14
|Suicide Call Back Service
||Tel 1300 659 467
|National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service
||Tel: 1800RESPECT – 1800 737 732
|Family Relationships Advice Line
||Tel: 1800 050 321
||Tel: 1300 789 978
|Parent Line NSW
||Tel: 1300 1300 52
|Post and Antenatal Depression Association (PANDA) Helpline
||Tel: 1300 726 306
|Pregnancy, Birth, and Baby Helpline
||Tel: 1800 882 436
|Tresillian Parents Helpline
||Tel: 1300 272 736
||Tel: 1300CARING - 1300 227 464
||Tel: 1800 55 1800