Talking about the elephant in the room - Mental ill-health Services in Australia

Talking about the elephant in the room - Mental ill-health Services in Australia

It was such a pleasure for Loving Loudly to be included in the batyr blue tie Brisbane event, courtesy of Arafmi last month. Pictured above is Leanne Hardcastle, Frie Robinson and Katie Acheson of Arafmi, with Lilly of Loving Loudly. 

Arafmi has been an amazing champion of Loving Loudly since we met at the Brisbane Mental Health Expo during October 2022. They are a not-for-profit organisation that provides support, education and practical assistance to people with mental illness, their families and carers in Queensland. Loving Loudly have supported some of the teams and carers with toolboxes for mental wellbeing, curating a gift experience that extends into an on-going self-care routine. 

It was a wonderful opportunity to be included to the batyr event, hanging out with many like-minded individuals who care about all things mental health. batyr’s role in the mental health system is to help prevent mental ill-health before it develops and to get young people the right support if it does. They are leaders in prevention and stigma reduction - because they talk about the elephant in the room. Through sharing lived experience stories and peer-to-peer education they are keeping young people from reaching the point of crisis, and changing lives. 

It is always inspiring to be in a room with so many compassionate, pro-active individuals, who really give a hoot about the state of wellbeing amongst the community.

I found it powerful listening to personal stories where these much needed services have been a turning point towards connection, support and repair for people of all backgrounds. I was moved to tears as a brave young man truthfully shared his story, especially after a friend plainly stated he "Get help" and how that simple message coupled with his actions changed his world. 

Too often we hear people say they don't want to burden those around them, shying away from sharing the truth of their challenges and struggles. To often people are caught up in their own suffering, coupled with severe loneliness, feeling utterly alone in their pain. When it is too late, we are heartbroken and at a loss for how to fix this complicated health situation. I was reminded at this lunch that by sharing our stories, we remind people that they are not alone in their experiences, and deflate the shame that stigmatises people into silence. 

It is simply untrue that anyone is a burden, or suffering alone - mental ill-health is lying to you! I am beyond grateful for the individuals and the organisations that are tackling these issues head on, and who continue moving mountains despite the odds and heartbreak along the way. There really is no simple solution, but together, we can help re-connect people to themselves, community and to a brighter future - this I have full faith in. 

If you, or someone you know needs support, there are a variety of services available in Australia that can help. Below are the contact details for:

  • 24/7 Crisis Support
  • General Mental Health Services
  • Carer Services
  • Youth Services 
  • LGBTQIA+ services
  • Support for First Nations Peoples
  • Eating Disorder Services
  • Men’s Services
  • Grief Support
  • Rural community services
  • Other tailored services

24/7 Crisis support

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  • Call 13 11 14 (24/7)
  • Text: 0477 13 11 14 (12pm to 2am AEST)
  • Chat Online: (12pm to 2am AEST)
    Crisis helpline for people experiencing emotional distress with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
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  • Call 13 92 76
  • Provides confidential crisis support 24/7 from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that will work with individuals to explore options for on-going support
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Suicide Callback Service

  • Call 1300 659 467
  • A nationwide service providing 24/7 telephone and online counselling to people affected by suicide.


Do you want to talk to someone?

We encourage you to reach out for support if you are struggling. You can visit your GP and ask for a mental health care plan, or get in touch with one of these free services.

General services

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Beyond Blue

  • Call - 1300 22 4636
  • Chat Online - (1pm to 12am AEST every day.)
  • If you’re going through a hard time right now, the Beyond Blue Support Service is available 24/7 for brief counselling.
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NSW Mental Health Line

  • Call: 1800 011 511
  • 24/7 professional help, advice and referrals to local mental health services, including services for hearing impaired individuals and English as a second language.


Support for carers


- The majority of Arafmi’s services are provided free of charge and are available to any person who is in need of them.

  • You can call Arafmi’s 24 hour Carer Support Line any time of the day to share your feelings, receive support, find new resources and learn helpful coping skills to help you in your caring role. It’s comforting to know that when you need to talk – someone who understands will be there – at any hour. Call  1300 554 660 or 07 3254 1881. 

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Carers Australia

  • (1800 242 636) - short term counselling services and support for carers and their families.
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Carer Gateway

  • Call: 1800 422 737. Counselling services and support for carers.
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On Track Families & Friends

  • Free online program for people who are supporting someone with a mental illness
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NSW Family & Carer Mental Health Program

  • Support for carers provided by One Door Mental Health


Youth services

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  • A safe space that guides and empowers young people to share stories of tough times to create a more mentally healthy world.
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  • Call: 1800 650 890
  • Free online and telephone support, counselling and peer-moderated group chats for young people aged 12 - 25 and their families and friends.
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Kids Helpline

  • Call: 1800 55 1800
  • Email:
  • Chat to a qualified counsellor for free via WebChat, phone or email anytime and for any reason.

LGBTQIA+ services

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  • Call: 1800 184 527 (3pm to midnight, every day)
  • Counselling and referral service for LGBTI people. Peer supported telephone and web based services to diverse people of all ages for mental health support.
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The Gender Centre

  • Call: 9519 7599 (9am-4pm Mon-Fri AEST)
  • Information and support for trans and gender-diverse people.
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  • Call: 1800 063 060
  • A New South Wales based organisation specialising in community health, inclusion and HIV responses for people of diverse sexualities and genders.

Support for First Nations Peoples

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  • Call 13 92 76
  • Provides confidential crisis support 24/7 from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that will work with individuals to explore options for on-going support
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Brother to Brother

  • Call: 1800 435 799 (24/7)
  • Crisis support by Aboriginal men, including Elders.
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National Indigenous Postvention Service (NIPS)

  • Call: 1800 805 801 (24/7)
  • A program that provides Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with postvention support and assistance for all (individuals, families & communities) affected by suicide or trauma.

Eating Disorder Services

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Butterfly Foundation

  • Call: 1800 33 4673
  • Email:
  • Phone, webchat and email support for those experiencing an eating disorder, friends, family, carers and professionals.

Men’s Services

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Mens Line

  • Call: 1300 78 99 78
  • Telephone and online counselling service providing support for men.

Grief Support

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  • Call: 1300 845 745 (6am to midnight AEST)
  • Online forums - (24/7)
  • Grief and loss support including phone counselling, online forums and peer support groups.
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National Centre for Childhood Grief

  • Call: 1300 654 556
  • Provides free and unlimited grief counselling for bereaved children aged 3 -18 years.
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Feel the Magic 

  • Early intervention grief education programs for kids aged 7 to 17, who are experiencing pain and isolation due to the death of a parent, guardian, or sibling.

Rural community services

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Rural Aid

  • Call 1300 175 594
  • Rural Aid counsellors offer free, confidential support to farmers and their families.

Other tailored services

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Mates In Construction

  • Call 1300 642 111 (24/7)
  • Suicide prevention and support for construction workers.
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TIACS Foundation

  • Call or text: 0488 846 988 (9am-5pm daily)
  • A free and confidential counselling service for truckies, tradies, rural, blue collar workers and those who care about them, available Australia-wide.
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Open Arms Peers

  • Call: 1800 011 046 (24/7)
  • Support for Navy, Army and Air Force personnel, veterans and their families.
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  • Call 1800 737 732
  • Confidential information, counselling and support service open 24 hours to support people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse.



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