Help yourself and others by finding out more about Australian support services for mental health through Head to Health.
With one in five Australians feeling the impact of mental illness each year, the need to start reaching out to those with mental health issues has never been greater. Head to Health is a new website doing just that, helping to make mental health resources more accessible for everyone.
Head to Health is a highly convenient online resource and an effective way for average Australians to get answers to common mental health questions. Many people find face-to-face consultations regarding mental health issues daunting. Head to Health is a digital resource that allows people to interact with others and learn about mental health issues from the comfort their own homes.
What is Head to Health?
Head to Health is an online platform containing around 370 government-funded mental health services and resources. Its aim is to help anyone interested in mental health or concerned about a specific mental health issue to find the information, resources and services that most suit their needs. The types of resources available include:
- Websites providing detailed information and advice on specific mental health topics
- Apps and programs which allow you to build your personal skills and track your progress
- Forums and peer support services where you can talk to people with similar experiences
- Confidential professional support via phone, chat, and email services
Who runs Head to Health?
Head to Health is the result of a collaboration between the Australian Department of Health, mental health organisations, service providers, health professionals and ordinary Australians who have experienced mental health issues.
It was designed and built as a key part of the government’s response to the National Mental Health Commission’s countrywide review of mental health programs and services.
Who is it for?
Head to Health is a resource for anyone and everyone, including people experiencing mental health issues or concerned about a friend or family member. It’s also useful for those who simply want tips and advice on how to improve their overall mental wellbeing.
How does Head to Health work?
The Head to Health website is divided into several main sections, focusing on different aspects of mental health and providing further contacts and resources for each. These sections include:
- Meaningful Life. This section looks at the things that can contribute to good mental health such as physical health (eating and sleeping properly and being physically active), being socially connected (through friends, family, work and community), being actively involved (work, hobbies, volunteering) and feeling secure (both physically and financially).
- Mental Health Difficulties. Mental Health Difficulties provides information on particular mental health conditions and disorders and covers topics such as self-harm, suicidal thoughts, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorders, depressive disorders, substance-related and addictive disorders, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, personality disorders, psychotic disorders and trauma and stress-related disorders.
- Supporting Yourself. This section offers information and advice on what you can do to support yourself if you are suffering from a mental health condition. Suggested options include informing yourself about your condition by learning more about it, talking to people who have experienced or are experiencing a similar problem, and meeting with a mental health professional.
- Supporting Someone Else. This resource offers information and advice for those who are supporting a friend or relative suffering a mental condition. It provides resources for carers such as websites and online forums and has a section on coping with grief and depression as a carer.
- Service Providers. This area lists contact details for Australian service providers who offer help and advice on mental health issues. They include well-known organisations such as beyondblue, Black Dog Institute, Lifeline and CanTeen, along with lesser known organisations such as National Eating Disorders Collaboration (NEDC), Perinatal Anxiety & Depression (PANDA) and Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS).
Another useful feature of the Head to Health website is Sam the Chatbot, a handy virtual assistant who can provide you with information on whatever you’re looking for, simply by typing in a query.