If a child or adolescent is having difficulties with depression, anxiety or behaviour, visiting the local GP is a good first place to start.
The GP can provide initial assessment and medical treatment, and refer to a mental health professional if necessary.
GP’s can create a Mental Health Plan which will enable the patient to access services and receive Medicare rebates under the Medicare Better Access initiative. Alternatively, the GP can refer the patient to a Psychiatrist or Paediatrician for assessment and diagnosis.
The Psychiatrist or Paediatrician can then refer directly to allied health and mental health services without a Mental Health Plan once a diagnosis has been made.
The NSW Mental Health Crisis Line:
1800 011 511 (24 hours) - Press ‘Option 1’ to be transferred to your nearest Community Mental Health Drug & Alcohol Service.
Suicide Call Back Service:
1300 659 467
Kids Help Line:
1800 55 1800
Child Abuse Prevention Services:
1800 688 009
Lifeline 24-hour Counselling and Crisis Support:
13 11 14
1300 1300 52
Men's Line Australia:
1300 78 99 78
Salvo Youth Line:
(02) 8736 3293
Salvo Care Line:
1300 36 36 22
NSW Child and mental health services
Child and Mental Health Services (CAMHS) are specialist mental health services for children and adolescents up to the age of 18yrs and their families. CAMHS provide priority access for children, adolescents and families at highest risk for current or future impairment and for those with the greatest need for specialist intensive and/or long-term mental health interventions, especially those who have been exposed to multiple risk factors for mental health problems.
CAMHS services vary in each Area Health Service. Services provided include:
- Specialist community based services for children and adolescents and their families
- Specialist community based support for Children of Parents with a Mental Illness
- Specialist day programs for more intensive treatment
- Specialist acute and non-acute inpatient services for children and adolescents
- Specialist outreach services (e.g. telepsychiatry program to increase support in rural communities)
- Forensic services for adolescents whose mental health problems have led to interaction with the justice system.
The Australian Psychological Society also has a searchable contact database of registered psychologists within Australia who provide psychological services for a fee.
Macquarie University Emotional Health Clinic
- (02) 9850 8711. Macquarie Park, NSW.
The Centre for Emotional Health provides a range of programs designed to help people of all ages to normalise and reduce their anxiety, creating confidence and future resilience.
Treatment is based on the latest knowledge of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), and is structured to apply to individual needs.
Programs include: Cool Kids, Adolescent Health, Chilled Plus online, ASD Cool Kids (for children with autism), Study Without Stress, and individually tailored treatments.
Macquarie University Psychology Clinic
- (02) 9850 8000. Macquarie Park, NSW.
The Macquarie University Psychology Clinic offers therapy, counselling, psychometric testing, and group programs for adults, youth and families.
They offer therapy, parenting skills training, relationship counselling, low self esteem counselling, bereavement counselling, psychometric assessment, and group programs for ADHD.
University of New South Wales Psychology Clinic
- (02) 9385 3042. Kensington, NSW.
Provides evidenced-based cognitive and behavioural therapies for adults, children, young people and families.
Services include treatment for: disruptive behaviours, oppositional behaviours, aggression, family adjustment to change, anxiety and stress, mood problems, social skills development, assessment of academic skills, and intellectual strengths and weaknesses for school strugglers. Also run a Capable Kids Social Skills Training Group.
Individuals can refer themselves to the clinic or be referred by a health professional.
University of Sydney Psychology Clinic
- (02) 9114 4343. Camperdown, NSW.
The Clinic provides a service for children, adolescents, and families facing a range of behavioural and emotional problems. These include disruptive & oppositional behaviour, aggression, anxiety and mood problems, and social difficulties.
Anyone may refer themselves, their child, or a client or patient to the Clinic.
UTS Health Psychology Unit
The Health Psychology Unit at University of Technology Sydney is staffed by clinical psychologists who are trained to treat people of all ages experiencing difficulties for a range of different issues such as depression, self-esteem, anxiety, anger management, adjustment to change, stress management, panic, psychosis, and other psychological or emotional issues based on cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT).
The clinical staff have extensive experience, in particular with young people aged 12 to 25.
They also provide individual and group therapy, coping strategies for HSC, training for mental health professionals and school counsellors, and community seminars/workshops.
University of Western Sydney Psychology Clinic
- 9852 5288. Penrith Campus, Kingswood, NSW.
This is a free service that is open to the general public. It provides psychological services, including psychometric assessments, and treatment for a broad range of conditions, and specialises in services for anxiety disorders and child assessments.
Psychological services at the clinic are provided by intern psychologists undertaking a Master of Psychology (Clinical) postgraduate degree at Western Sydney University under the supervision of specialist clinical psychologists and academic staff.