Accessing professional support

Feeling suicidal can be an overwhelming and painful experience, but it is not something you have to bear alone. Asking for help is an important step towards getting the professional support you need.

 

In an emergency

If you are in immediate danger, or concerned for your safety in any way:

  • Call 000 and request an ambulance. Stay on the line, speak clearly, and be ready to answer the operator’s questions
  • Attend your local hospital’s emergency department

 

There are a number of services and professionals available to help you through this difficult time. You may wish to speak to someone over the phone, or prefer to seek help face to face. Whichever you choose, it’s important that you are as honest about your situation and the way you’re feeling as possible, so you can get the support you need.

Talking to someone about such a painful issue can be difficult, so you may want to check out our Talking about suicide page for information and tips on how to start a conversation.

 

Telephone helplines for professional support

A number of telephone counselling and crisis helplines exist to provide support and information to people feeling suicidal.

Telephone helplines allow you to access immediate support, without having to wait for an appointment or travel to a medical centre. In this regard, they are particularly useful for people in rural or remote areas, or for when you can’t access your regular healthcare provider.

Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467

The Suicide Call Back Service provides immediate support to anyone feeling suicidal. In addition, they can provide ongoing support with up to six 50 minute telephone counselling sessions that will provide you with longer term support. The Suicide Call Back Service also offers online counselling.

Lifeline 13 11 14

Lifeline is a national 24-hour telephone helpline offering support to anyone in crisis.

Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800

Kids Helpline is a 24/7 phone and online counselling service for young people.

 

Mental health services for professional support

If you’re feeling suicidal, you may benefit from accessing some of the services available through your local mental health team. The team will consist of a range of mental health professionals who are trained to support people in crisis, including people who are feeling suicidal.

New South Wales – Mental Health Line 1800 011 511

Victoria – SuicideLine Victoria 1300 651 251

Queensland – 13 HEALTH 13 43 25 84

Tasmania – Mental Health Services Helpline 1800 332 388

South Australia – Mental Health Assessment and Crisis Intervention Service 13 14 65

Western Australia – Mental Health Emergency Response Line 1300 555 788 (Metro) 1800 676 822 (Peel)

Northern Territory – Northern Territory Mental Health Line 1800 682 288

Australian Capital Territory – Mental Health Triage Service 1800 629 354

 

General practitioners (GPs)

Your GP is a key contact for concerns about your mental and emotional health.

Speaking as openly and honestly as possible to your GP will allow them to provide you with the appropriate support to get through this difficult time. This may also involve psychological or medical treatment. Additionally, GPs should have a good knowledge of local services, and will be able to refer you to other professionals if necessary.

How to access a GP

If you already have a regular GP and are feeling suicidal, contact them and explain it is an emergency. Arrange to see them as soon as possible, and book a longer appointment so you have plenty of time to discuss your circumstances.

If you don’t have a GP, you can use the following resources to find one in your area:

 

Other health professionals

Many other health professionals are able to assist you if you’re feeling suicidal. Depending on their role and area of expertise, they may be able to provide you with various types of psychological therapy, medication, or refer you on to other services.

If you’re already seeing a psychiatrist, psychologist, counsellor, therapist or other professional, phone or arrange to see them as soon as possible, explaining that it is an emergency.

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