Helpline 1800 187 263
Australia is a diverse country, with people from many different cultures, backgrounds, religions, and ethnicities. Anyone can experience distress or mental health issues. It’s important that every Australian has the opportunity to live a full life, free of discrimination and with access to help when they need it.
Stressful events around migration, seeking asylum, and discrimination can impact wellbeing and mental health for individuals, families, and communities. These can include:
Professional support can help people cope with these stressful situations. Talking to a trusted person also helps many people feel less alone.
If you notice any of the following experiences, and they are impacting your daily life, telling someone you trust or a health professional can be the first step to seeking support:
There are many services available across Australia which can help with your mental health. Some can connect you with other people going through similar experiences or support services in your community.
SANE Helpline – 1800 187 263
The SANE free counselling service supports people who are concerned about their own or someone else’s mental health. This is a free phone call where you can choose to remain anonymous.
If your first language is not English, call us with the free Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS). Call 131 450 and ask for your preferred language. When connected to an interpreter, ask to speak to the SANE Helpline on 1800 187 263.
Free multilingual information and resources on health and mental health.
Free multilingual information about mental health concerns in a variety of languages.
Mental health information on stress and stress management. Information for families and new parents.
A place for multicultural Canberrans to meet and celebrate their cultures. Has community services that offer assistance finding support and help with English.
Services include multicultural youth services, settlement services to support newly arrived migrants and humanitarian entrants in the ACT and South-East NSW, employment services, aged-care and women services.
Phone: (02) 6100 4611
Advocates and provides direct services for individuals, families and communities from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds in the Northern Territory. Provides a range of services from citizenship education, homework club, NDIS community connector program, emergency relief, to in-person ‘one stop shop’ for refugees and migrants in Darwin and surrounding areas.
Phone: (08) 8945 9122
The only organisation in Alice Springs that provides settlement assistance to migrants and refugees. MCSCA also provides provision of case work, referrals and support to migrants/refugees, information sessions on a range of topics, assistance with citizenship applications, and multicultural playgroups.
Phone: (08) 8952 8776
Humanitarian services for individuals and families from refugee and migrant backgrounds.
Phone: (08) 8985 3311
Directory of multicultural health services in NSW.
A directory of not-for-profit organisations, government agencies and community services in NSW.
Provides services and support to refugees, migrants and asylum seekers. It includes housing, multicultural foster care, disability services, employment and youth support services. There is help with essential information for adjusting to a new lifestyle as well as assistance with learning English.
Bilingual mental health workers assist people with mental health issues and their carer to get help, navigate referrals, and receive treatment. Service has a range of workers who speak Arabic, Cantonese, Mandarin and Farsi/Dari. This service is only available to service users from Western Sydney.
Support for refugees and people from refugee-like backgrounds to recover from their experiences of torture and/or trauma and build a new life in Australia.
Free state-wide telephone support program connecting people with a volunteer who speaks their language. Callers can have a social chat with the volunteers to feel more connected to their community and culture.
Phone: 1800 95 40 40
Culturally sensitive services for people who have been through torture or refugee related trauma.
Personal Education and Community Empowerment (PEACE) service
Relationship support for people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, regardless of their visa status. Services support people and communities with sexual health, impacts of gambling, and family violence.
Services can refer clients to PEACE services by completing this form or calling (08) 8245 8100
Supports people who have survived torture and trauma with counselling, case management, group work, and mental health support.
Supports people from migrant backgrounds to settle in Tasmania. Includes support for older people, specialised settlement services, youth work, health and wellbeing, community development, migration support, and employment assistance.
A directory of services for migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, international students, and short-stay migrants. Helps people find information on interpreting services, housing and accommodation, health, community, education, managing money, transport, and settlement support
Provides support services (such as counselling) to people and communities who have experienced torture and other traumatic events in their country of origin or while fleeing those countries. Open to Humanitarian Programme entrants permanently resettled in Australia and people on Temporary Substantive Visas (TSVs).
AMES provides a range of settlement services to new and recently arrived refugee and migrant communities. Services include on-arrival settlement support, English language and literacy training, vocational education and training and employment services.
Phone: (03) 9794 1900
The CMY supports young people aged 12-25 from migrant and refugee backgrounds through a range of specialist support services, programs, resources and advocacy initiatives
Provides support to refugees who are survivors of trauma and other traumatic events. Services for individuals, communities, schools, and young people.
Provides programs and services to meet the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse Australians. They can provide services to Australian temporary residents (international students and those on working visas) with access to emergency relief, housing, domestic violence services, and counselling support.
Their MAITRI services can also provide clients with access to mental health clinicians from the same cultural and linguistic background, group therapy, family counselling as support for children and adolescents from refugee and migrant backgrounds presenting with mental health challenges.
Phone: (08) 9328 2699
Free and voluntary support for people who have faced torture, trauma, or persecution before coming to Australia. Services for communities, individuals, families, and young people.
It’s common for family members to take on a caring role for someone going through mental health issues.
There are services that support family, friends, and carers and provide a way of connecting with others who may share your experience:
Experiences of racism cause distress and adversely affects mental health in immigrants and refugees.
If you have experienced racial discrimination, you can report it to the Australian Human Rights Commission. Call 1300 656 419.
Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2017). 2016 Census: Multicultural.
Ferdinand, A. S., Paradies, Y., & Gelaber, M. (2015). Mental health impacts of racial discrimination in Australian culturally and linguistically diverse communities: a cross-sectional survey. BMC Public Health, 15.
Minas, H., Kakuma, R., Too, L. S., Vayani, H., Orapeleng, S., Prasad-Ildes, R., Turner, G., Procter, N., & Oehm, D. (2013). Mental Health Research and Evaluation in Multicultural Australia: Developing a Culture of Inclusion. Mental Health in Multicultural Australia.