Asking for Help
Asking for help can be really hard, especially if you feel stressed or confused. Getting the support you need during tough times can help you get through the situation, give you strategies to deal with the situation and give you some perspective.

Blocks to asking for help
Thinking a problem will go away by itself
Being embarrassed or afraid to ask for help
Thinking you should be able to cope without help
Thinking no one wants to help or will understand
Thinking things aren’t bad enough to seek help
Not knowing where to find help
Lack of support services nearby
Thinking you’ll be judged
Thinking help is too expensive/time consuming

What are the benefits for me once I get help?
Feeling less stressed
Relief about sharing your thoughts/feelings
Finding strategies and ways to cope
Gaining some perspective
Reducing your sense of loneliness
Building stronger relationships with friends and family
Prevent problems getting bigger
Can learn to help others
We all go through tough times and sometimes can’t solve problems by ourselves. It is courageous to recognise and ask for help if you need it for any sort of problem.

Where to go for help
Your GP
Friends and family
Phone helplines like Lifeline
Books, magazines and online resources
Experts & professionals – psychologists, counsellors, financial advisors, legal professionals, ministers, career advisors, teachers etc

What can you do to help prevent suicide?

1. Reach Out – Ask them directly if they are thinking about suicide. It needs to be a direct question that can’t be misinterpreted.

“Are you thinking about suicide?”

Most people with thoughts of suicide want to talk about it. They want to live – but desperately need someone to hear their pain and offer them help to keep safe.

Don’t be afraid to ask them if they are thinking about suicide. This shows you care and they’re not alone.

Listen to them – Allow them to express their feelings. Let them do most of the talking. They will often feel a great sense of relief someone wants to talk to them about their darkest thoughts.

2. Check their safety – If you are really worried don’t leave them alone. Remove any means of suicide including weapons, medications, drugs, alcohol, even access to a car. Get help by calling Lifeline 13 11 14, or emergency services on 000. You can also take them to the local hospital emergency department.

3. Decide what to do and take action – Talk about steps you can take together to keep them safe. Don’t agree to keep it a secret, you shouldn’t be the only one supporting this person. You may need help from someone else to persuade them to get help. You can also help by finding out information on what resources and services are available for a person who is considering suicide.

Ask for a promise – Thoughts of suicide may return, so ask them to promise to reach out and tell someone. Asking them to promise makes it more likely they will tell someone.

4. Get help – There are lots of services and people that can help and provide assistance.
GP (doctor)
Counsellor, psychologist, social worker
School Counsellor
Emergency Services 000
Community Health Centres
Crisis support services like Lifeline, Kids helpline
Seek support from family and friends, youth group leader, sports coach, priest, minister or religious leader etc.
In some situations they may refuse help and you can’t force them to get help. You need to ensure the appropriate people are aware of the situation. Don’t take this all on yourself, get help.

For more information on how you can help and training programs on suicide prevention contact us

Find a professional

Different health professionals offer different types of services and treatments for depression and anxiety. The directories below list a range of practitioners, grouped by their role and the services they provide.

If you’re not sure about what you need or who’s who, we’ve got some information on the various health practitioners and treatments available. Broadly speaking, GPs provide initial assessment, medical treatment, psychological or ‘talking’ therapies, and/or referral to mental health specialists. Psychologists, social workers and occupational therapists specialise in talking therapies, while psychiatrists specialise in medical treatment and talking therapies.

If you’re unsure of what might work for you, speaking to your GP is a really good place to start. If you don’t have a regular GP or would like to see someone different, check out the Service Directories below for practices in your area.

1. Find a practice in your area: National Health Service Directory
2. Find a psychologist: Australian Psychological Society (APS)

Crisis Support

A crisis is someone’s personal and very individual reaction to an event or experience in their life they find hard to cope with.

This can happen with any event, things like;

Relationship breakdown or difficulties
Loss (of a loved one, job, home)
Physical health issues
Caring for another
Violence and trauma
Pressures from work or study
An accident
A natural disaster
The onset of mental health issues

What is a crisis?
Everyone is affected differently by events in their life. One person may be extremely affected by an event, while someone else experiencing the same event may experience little or no negative effects.

If a crisis is not dealt with in a healthy way, it can lead to longer lasting mental health issues, as well as social and physical problems.

What is crisis support?
Crisis support is short term, and centres on providing people with assistance, non-judgemental support and resources in their time of need.

The main aim of crisis support is to help reduce stress and improve the person’s ability to cope with their current situation, as well as with future crises.

Crisis support can save lives and prevent unsafe and damaging reactions to difficulties, and creates opportunities for personal growth and change.

If you are going through a crisis

– Talk to someone you trust – often talking through your experience with someone you trust goes a long way to reducing your anxiety, and can help you to gain some perspective moving forward. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to a loved one, visit your GP or contact a crisis line like Lifeline.

– Look after your safety – Put your safety first. If you are in an unsafe situation, try to remove yourself or reach out to someone who can help you stay safe. If you are thinking about suicide, seek help immediately by calling 13 11 14.

– Recognise your strengths – your skills and abilities can help you cope under pressure. If you are having trouble identifying your strengths, ask a loved one to help you list some strengths that will help you in your current circumstances.

– Get help – manage your crisis through counselling, medical attention, self-help programs or support networks. You might need to try a number of options depending on your individual circumstances – it’s important to keep trying. Sometimes a crisis is a sign of a longer-term issue. It’s important to get help for problems such as mental health issues or financial difficulties.

– Make a plan – it can help reduce stress and give positive goals to work towards. For example if you are having financial problems it can help to create a budget.

– Take care of yourself – by eating healthily, exercising, and sleeping. Give yourself time out from your situation if possible –do things you enjoy. Avoid alcohol and drugs, as they numb feelings and make it harder to cope in the long run.

While Alive project reviews information before linking and posting these services and we aim to keep them current, it is important to note that they are not operated by Alive project and they do not substitute independent professional advice.

Provision of a link should not be construed as an endorsement or approval of the third party service or website by Alive project. Alive project is not responsible for the content or users experience of third party services or websites.

13 11 14

Offer crisis support and suicide prevention

Suicide Call Back Service
1300 659 467

Provides free nationwide professional telephone and online counselling for anyone affected by suicide.

1300 224 636

Offer support and point you in the right direction for the cost of a local call (could be more from mobiles).

Black Dog Institute
1300 224 636

Offer support and point you in the right direction for the cost of a local call (could be more from mobiles).

Carers Australia
1800 242 636

Short-term counselling and emotional and psychological support services for carers and their families in each state and territory.

1800 650 890

Free online and telephone service that supports young people aged between 12 and 25 and their families going through a tough time.

Get Real International
+61 7 33881207

Youth and family Counselling and Coaching
Youth empowerment workshops, parenting programs and support


Kids Helpline
1800 55 1800

A free, private and confidential, telephone and online counselling service specifically for young people aged between 5 and 25.

MensLine Australia
1300 789 978

A telephone and online support, information and referral service, helping men to deal with relationship problems in a practical and effective way.

The Butterfly Foundation
1800 334 673

Butterfly’s ED HOPE is Australia’s national eating disorders support service providing phone, email and web counselling as well as a range of online resources.

Young Diggers
Support and programs for serving and ex-serving military personnel and their families.

MindSpot Clinic
1800 61 44 34

An online and telephone clinic providing free assessment and treatment services for Australian adults with anxiety or depression.

Relationships Australia
1300 364 277

A provider of relationship support services for individuals, families and communities.

Support after Suicide

Information, resources, counselling and group support to those bereaved by suicide. Education and professional development to health, welfare and education professionals.

Ted Noffs Foundation
1800 753 300

SANE Australia Helpline
1800 187 263

Information about mental illness, treatments, where to go for support and help carers.

Where to get help

The resources are designed to support, not replace, the relationship that may occur between members of the community and existing health care professionals.

Visit your GP
Call Lifeline (13 11 14) or chat to us online
Check out our facts & Information section for additional information and resources
Mental Health Crisis Lines (available 24/7)

NSW: Mental Health Line
1800 011 511

VIC: Suicide Help Line
1300 651 251

13 43 25 84

TAS: Mental Health Services Helpline
1800 332 388

SA: Mental Health Assessment and Crisis Intervention Service
13 14 65

WA: Mental Health Emergency Response Line
1800 676 822

NT: Top End Mental Health Service
08 8999 4988

ACT: Mental Health Triage Service
1800 629 354