It takes courage to reach out for help, so well done for making it here. Whatever you may be feeling or experiencing at this time, there is support available.
As a first time help seeker, there are a few options for getting support.
Your GP is a good place to start for most mental health concerns. Doctors can provide treatment or refer you to a service or program that is right for you.
If you don’t have a regular GP, you can find one by asking for recommendations from friends, family of your local pharmacist. You can also search for a GP here: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/australian-health-services
When you are booking an appointment with a GP, you may want to ask:
How much the appointment will cost (some appointments are bulk billed, and some have a gap payment)
How long the appointment will go for (you can ask for a longer appointment if you think that would be helpful)
If the GP has a particular interest or additional qualifications in mental health or suicide prevention
When you visit your GP, try to be open and honest about how you are feeling, and ask as many questions as you need. You may like to write down a list of your symptoms (including any difficult thoughts and feelings) and when they have been happening, as well as a list of questions to ask your GP. Your GP should listen to you, make you feel comfortable and discuss options for help with you. You and your GP can then decide together what the best option may be for you.
The Ballarat Mental Health Support website asks you a few simple questions such as your age, the type of support you are looking for (e.g., mental health, suicide prevention, support after a suicide) and whether you would like support specific to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, or LGBTIQA+ community members.
Once you have answered these questions, the Ballarat Mental Health Support website will show you the services that best match your needs. You can then refine your search based on:
Delivery method (e.g., phone or video, face to face, outreach, online)
Type of support (e.g., counselling, support groups)
Referral type (e.g., no referral required, referral required)
Fees (fees, no fees applicable)
You can also search for services by typing what you are looking for into the search bar.
Click here to find support.
Head to Health is a unique model of care jointly developed by Victoria’s PHNs in collaboration with the Australian Government. You can call the Head to Health intake line on 1800 595 212 to speak with an experienced mental health professional who will listen and work with you to find the best ways to get you the help you need. Head to Health also provides services in more than 20 locations across Victoria.
Advice and services provided by Head to Health hubs (including via the intake line) are offered free to all Victorians. Head to Health may, however, provide advice and refer people to support and/or services that require payment of a professional fee. These services are not included in the no-cost service provided by Head to Health.
For more information, please visit the Head to Health website.