The mental health directory


Every contact you need to know…

by Grant J Everett

As an Australian, you have access to a level of free medical care that is simply unheard of in most countries. Sure, our system isn’t perfect, but it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever be forced to choose between death or crippling, insurmountable debt like in certain places we could mention (cough, America, cough). This care also extends beyond physical issues and into mental, psychological and psychosocial assistance, and there are thousands of people and dozens of organisations out there who are devoted to taking care of your essential needs.

A big part of getting the help you need, however, is knowing exactly where to go. For this purpose we’ve collected together information about some of the best services, charities and non-govenment organisations in New South Wales and what they can do for you into one big directory.



People With Disability Australia (PWD) is a national disability rights and advocacy organisation. PWDA has a large membership of individuals and organisations committed to the disability rights movement and is primarily composed of people with disabilities (hence the name!). PWDA strives for a socially just, accessible, and inclusive community for all people with disability, and also provide rights-related advice services. They also motivate reform on issues that affect people with disability. Rights-related training and education is their focus.

1800 422 015


The Aged-care Rights Service Inc (TARS) provides confidential advocacy for the residents of hostels, nursing homes and other aged care in NSW. TARS provides relevant legal education, promotes human rights and strives for a fair and nondiscriminatory legal justice system.


Consumer Advisory Group (CAG) is a statewide, independent organization that acts as a bridge between people with mental health issues and the Government. CAG gathers information and lobbies the decision makers about issues relevant to the mental health system and seeks to influence legislation introduced by the Government if it affects the lives of people with mental health issues. They also ensure that the views of people with mental health issues are heard by policy makers, service providers and the community by promoting their participation in relevant policy making and service development decisions. CAG does NOT offer individual advice, as their role is to advise the State Government.


RichmondPRA offers comprehensive mental health services in your local community. We help people on their mental health recovery journey with services designed to support people with a personal lived experience of mental health issues in the way that suits them best, whether that’s finding a place to live, a rewarding job or assistance with day-to-day living. Mental health recovery is our focus and people are at the heart of what we do. We operate in dozens of communities and provide a strong network of mental health services. We also provide access to information about supporting a friend or loved one with mental health issues.

1300 779 270



Sad? Depressed? You aren’t alone. Depression is a bigger problem than ever, though fortunately Lifeline 24 Hour Crisis Support is there to listen, saving thousands of people from suicide and serious self-harm each year. Lifeline is ready for your call at any time of the day or night. This service is free and confidential. Also, Lifeline celebrated fifty years of operation back in 2013.The number of lives they’ve saved over this time could only be guessed.

13 11 14


GROW provides a peer support program for the personal development of people who either have mental health issues or are otherwise experiencing difficulty in coping with life’s challenges. GROW helps people take back control of their lives, overcome obstacles and start living a life full of meaning and hope. GROW groups allow people to figure out recovery solutions in a supportive and structured way. Participants can attend educational training sessions and a range of social activities. GROW is free to join and you don’t need a referral or diagnosis.

1800 558 268


St Vincent de Paul has 40,000 members and volunteers who are all working hard to assist people in need and to combat social injustice across Australia. Vinnies operates in a total of 149 countries with over 950,000 members who live out their faith in action by providing support and friendship to those in need. Vinnies often provide furniture, clothing and household goods free of charge to those in need, and they also sell affordable clothing and goods to the wider community at a minimal cost. Profits from these sales are used to provide resources and support to even more Australians.

Home visitation has been the core work of Vinnies from the very start. By visiting people in their homes, Vinnies aims to help men, women and families to break the cycle of poverty and disadvantage.

(02) 9568 0262


beyondblue is an independent, not-for-profit organisation working to increase the awareness and understanding of depression and anxiety in Australia. Their goal is to create an Australia that understands these issues, empower people to seek help early and then support their recovery through learning, innovation and research.

1300 22 4636


SANE Australia is a national charity that helps Australians affected by mental health issues to lead a fulfilling life. They also operate a busy Helpline and a website that have thousands of hits each year across the country. SANE is a leading independent non-Government organisation campaigning for the one-in-five Australians affected by mental health issues every year, and they rely exclusively on donations and grants to achieve its goals as they receive no ongoing government funding.

1800 18 SANE


Schizophrenia Fellowship of NSW is a non-profit, community-based organisation working in the field of mental health. The Fellowship is dedicated to improving the circumstances of people living with mental health issues, their relatives and carers, as well as professionals working in this area. The Fellowship are dedicated to creating a society that is both understanding and accepting towards mental illness, and they also provide easy access to information and essential services. Research, treatment, rehabilitation and housing have always been the Fellowship’s biggest priorities.

02 9879 2600



The Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) fully represents the interests of all Australians with disabilities. The mission of the AFDO is to champion their rights and help them participate fully in life.

03 9662 3324


ARAFMI stands for the Association of Relatives And Friends of the Mentally Ill. Their vision is a community that understands and responds to the impact of mental health issues on families and carers and the many people who are living with mental health issues.

1800 655 198 (free call) or (02) 9332 0700


The Black Dog Institute is a world leader in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder.

(02) 9382 2991


Kids Helpline is a counseling service for Australian children and young people aged between 5 and 25 years.

1800 55 1800


The mission of the Transcultural Mental Health Centre is to work in partnership with mental health services, consumers, carers and the community to improve the mental health of people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities living in NSW.

Free call 1800 648 911



The National Mental Health Commission analyses how the mental health system can be improved. The first and second independent National Report Cards on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention were done by these guys. The Commission performs an important role in monitoring the performance of the mental health system and advising on opportunities for improvement.


The Mental Health Coordinating Council is comprised of not-for-profit non-Government organisations related to the delivery of services for the well-being of people with mental health issues, and is also concerned with disability, housing, employment and education. They deliver nationally recognised qualifications up to a Diploma level.


Not to be confused with The National Mental Health Commission, The Mental Health Commission of NSW is an independent body which drives reform that will be of benefit to people who experience, or otherwise have a connection to, mental health issues. The Commission is working towards sustained change regarding the impact of mental health issues on employment, education, housing, justice and general health. Reporting on the research, implementation, reviewing and development of policy is at their core. They promote innovative programs and freely share their knowledge about good practices in mental health promotion, early detection and appropriate care.

Note: The Commission does NOT investigate individual complaints, provide services or advice to individuals, penalise or sanction doctors, nurses or others, or hold the budget for government expenditure on mental health services.


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