Need to talk to someone now?
What kind of support do you and your family need?
The kind of support you need will depend on your individual circumstances. Often the best place to start is with your local doctor or support worker. Families are everyone’s business.
Talking to a doctor or support professional
When asking for support, start by explaining what your worries are and how you would like them to help you. Fill in this table before your appointment to help you prepare. If you are feeling unsure about what to say, you could print this page and take it with you to show them.
Be patient - good support can take time to find
Be aware that your doctor or support worker may not have all the answers straight away and finding the right support services can be tricky. You may need to be persistent and try a few different options until you find what is right for your family.
By working together with a good doctor or other professional you will be able to identify your family’s strengths, areas of need and the help that may be right for you.
Using the help services below
Further down this page (under 'Find local help services and helplines') is a list of prevention services and programs specifically related to children of parents with a mental illness and their families. We recommend that you talk to your doctor or support worker regarding how appropriate they may be for you and your family and about others that may be available.
These services range from camps for kids and support programs for carers to supported playgroups and assistance for parents. Services will vary depending on the area you live. A knowledgeable doctor or support worker can help you with what else is available in your local area.
Listed below are some other services that are not specific to children of parents with a mental illness, but are available in most areas of Australia and may be able to help.
- Medicare Locals
- Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services in your area
- Adult Mental Health Services in your area
- Maternal and Child Health Nurses in your area
- Personal Helpers and Mentors (PHaMs)
- Carers Australia
- Young Carers Australia
- Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800)
- Lifeline (13 11 14)
- Mensline (1300 78 99 78)
- Relationships Australia (1300 364 277)
Find local help services and helplines
Click on the orange arrows > to reveal information.
OR use our interactive map to find services by location.
Australian Capital Territory
- ACT, Belconnen and Tuggeranong - Bungee Youth Resilience Program
- ACT, Canberra - Temporary Family Care Respite Program
- ACT, Canberra North - POPPY (Parents Opportunity to Participate in Play with their Young) Group
- ACT, Canberra South - POPPY (Parents Opportunity to Participate in Play with their Young) Playgroup
- ACT, Canberra/Goulburn - St Nicholas' Young Carers Program
- ACT, CoPMI Health Promotion Initiative - Mental Health Services - Health Directorate ACT Government
- ACT, CYCLOPS (Connecting Young Carers to Life Opportunities and Personalised Supports)
- ACT, Narrabundah - Horizons: Healthy Minds, Healthy Families
- ACT, Queanbeyan - Litmus
New South Wales
- NSW, Auburn, Blacktown, Hills Shire, Holroyd, Parramatta - Young Carers Program
- NSW, Central Coast Gosford - Family Inclusion Network Outreach
- NSW, Central Coast Gosford - Prevention Team - Parenting and COPMI
- NSW, Central Coast Kincumber - Young ARAFMI - Kids Connecting
- NSW, Hills District - REACH Program
- NSW, Inner Sydney (Redfern and Waterloo) - Partnership with Parents
- NSW, Kookaburra Kids
- NSW, Multiple Locations - SMILES Program (Simplifying Mental Illness plus Life Enhancement Skills) - Free download available worldwide
- NSW, Murrumbidgee Local Health Network - COPMI
- NSW, Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, the Hunter Valley and surrounds - YP-COPMI
- NSW, Northern Beaches - COPMI Clinician
- NSW, Northern Sydney - COPMI Consultant
- NSW, Northern Sydney - Paying Attention to Self Support Group for Teens
- NSW, Northern Sydney, Central Coast Area - Connect for Kids
- NSW, Penrith - Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District - COPMI Coordinators
- NSW, REACH Program (Black Dog Institute)
- NSW, South Coast Illawarra - POPPY (Parents Opportunity to Participate in Play with their Young) Playgroup
- NSW, South Coast Wollongong LGA - Barnardos South Coast 'POPPY' Playgroup
- NSW, South East Sydney, South West Sydney, Wagga Wagga and Newcastle) - ON FIRE
- NSW, South Windsor - Parenting Together Playgroup
- NSW, St George and Sutherland Shire - COPMI Program
- NSW, Supporting Kids in Primary Schools (SKIPS)
- NSW, Surry Hills - Family Inclusion Network
- NSW, Sydney - Holyoake Family Alcohol and Other Drug Programs (Kaleidoscope Plus Program)
- NSW, Sydney Eastern and Central Suburbs - Child and Family Program
- NSW, Sydney Local Health Network - Marrickville, Redfern, Camperdown, Canterbury, Croydon, Bankstown and Surrounds - COPMI Program
- NSW, Sydney, Lindfield - Paying Attention to Self (PATS)
- NSW, Tamworth, Armidale - Centacare SMILES Program (8-11 yrs)
- NSW, Western Sydney Local Health Network (East) - COPMI Co-ordinator
- NSW, Women and Children's Program
- NSW, Young Carer Program
- QLD, Brisbane South - Young Carers Project
- QLD, Bundaberg - Chillin'
- QLD, Burpengary-Waterford West and Gold Coast - AMEND (Assisting Mothers End the Need for Drugs) Program
- QLD, Cleveland, Wynnun and Redlands Areas - Growing Together School Holiday Program
- QLD, Ipswich - Ipswich Supported Playgroup for Parents with Mental Illness
- QLD, Logan-Beaudesert and Gold Coast - Our Space: Metro South COPMI Program
- QLD, Maroochydore - Sunshine Coast Koping Program (SC-Koping)
- QLD, Northern Brisbane - COPMI Program
- QLD, Supporting Kids in Primary Schools (SKIPS)
- QLD, Townsville - Children and Adolescent Support Program Access Service (CASPAS)
- SA, Adelaide Metro - Staying Attached
- SA, Adelaide South and East Metro - Raw Energy Young Carer Support Program
- SA, ARAFMI Carer Support Group
- SA, Eastern Metro PHaMS (Personal Helpers and Mentors) Program
- SA, Eastwood - South Australian Women's and Children's Health Network Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Services
- SA, Marion, Western Suburbs, Salisbury and Playford - Family by Family
- SA, North West Metropolitan Adelaide - Mental Health Carer Respite Program
- SA, Oaklands Park - Offspring Group
- SA, Onkaparinga and Gawler Council Areas - Resource Options and Support for Carers Program
- SA, Salisbury - Individual Psychosocial Rehabilitation Support Services - North
- SA, Statewide - Carers SA Young Carers Statewide Program
- SA, Supporting Kids in Primary Schools (SKIPS)
- VIC, Banyule - Mum's Well Being Group
- VIC, Barwon and Colac - FAPMI
- VIC, Bendigo - Kids with Confidence
- VIC, Early Parenting Centre
- VIC, Eastern Metropolitan Area - CHAMPS Programs
- VIC, Eastern Region - Integrated Family Services
- VIC, Hawthorn, Dandenong and Rosanna - Carer Support Services
- VIC, Lilydale Eastern and Outer Eastern Region - PATS (Paying Attention To Self)
- VIC, Melbourne Eastern Metropolitan Area - Eastern Parentzone Program
- VIC, Northern Melbourne Area (including Darebin and Whittlesea) - Parents Group, Children's School Holiday Program (CHAMPS) and Playgroup
- VIC, Northern Metropolitan Area - Paying Attention To Self (PATS)
- VIC, Northern Metropolitan Area - Young Carers Program
- VIC, South and East Metro Areas - Prahran Mission Uniting Care Mothers Support Program
- VIC, Southern Region - Young Carer Respite and Information Program
- VIC, Supporting Kids in Primary Schools (SKIPS)
- VIC, Wangaratta - Little Munchkin's Supported Playgroup for COPMI
Getting help in WA
- WA, Inner City and Lower North Metropolitan Region - Mothers Support Program
- WA, Northern Metropolitan Perth - MIFWA Family Support Program
- WA, Perth - ARAFMI Carer Advocacy Program
- WA, Perth - ARAFMI Carer Peer Workers Program
- WA, Perth - ARAFMI Carer Respite Program
- WA, Perth - ARAFMI Support Groups
- WA, Perth - MIFWA Parent Peer Support Program
- WA, Perth - Separated Dads WA
- WA, Perth Metropolitan Area - ARAFMI KOPING Program
- WA, Perth Metropolitan Area - ARAFMI Smiles Program
- WA, Perth Metropolitan Area - ARAFMI Youth Services
- WA, Perth Metropolitan Area - Family to Family Partnership
- WA, Perth Metropolitan Area - Youth to Youth (Y2Y) Program
- WA, Perth Metropolitan Area and Bunbury - ARAFMI Changing Minds - Mental Health Truths, School Education Program
- WA, Perth Metropolitan Area and Peel Region - ARAFMI School Holiday Program
- WA, Rockingham - Carer Consultant Support
- WA, Scarborough - Perth Metropolitan COPMI Program
- WA, Supporting Kids in Primary Schools (SKIPS)
Click on the orange arrows > to reveal information.
Phone (& online) helplines
Double-click on the locations below to view more detailed program/service maps.
- The number indicates the number of programs/services in an area.
- The red markers indicate the physical location of program/service on the map.