Lauren Spence Family Lawyer Sydney

Lauren Spence

Lauren is a passionate family lawyer who genuinely appreciates the emotional difficulty that comes with divorce and separation. Since her admission as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of NSW,…
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Throughout our lives, we can be involved in difficult and tumultuous situations. Some of these experiences, like the breakdown of a relationship, child custody matters, or domestic and family violence can result in the need for legal intervention, as well as cause financial hardship and ultimately, place us under significant stress. For many people, this can impact their mental health and can make life feel overwhelming at times.  

However, you don’t need to struggle through these challenges alone. In Australia, we’re fortunate to have access to a number of different resources to help us navigate our way through various stages of life. From support and advice services to counselling and treatment options, there are many different places that you can turn to when you need help.

With so many resources out there though, it can be overwhelming to find the right one for you, so to help, we’ve compiled a list of resources including phone lines, websites, help groups and services that have been specifically created to help people get through challenging times. This list has options for people of all ages and experiencing a wide range of issues.

Crisis Support Services

Many people will face a crisis in their lives, whether they experience it directly, or someone close to them is in crisis. This can be stressful and overwhelming to manage. Some of the crisis support groups that aim to provide help to people in crisis include:

Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue is one of Australia’s most well-known support services, having helped people all over Australia for more than 20 years. Beyond Blue is a mental health organisation largely focused on supporting people affected by anxiety, depression, and suicide.

Providing confidential support, Beyond Blue has a number of resources available, including a website with comprehensive information, an online peer support community forum, a 24/7 phone counselling service (1300 224 636), webchat online counselling and email services.

Anxiety, depression and suicide can occur for all kinds of reasons and can affect people of all ages.

Lifeline

Lifeline is a national charity that provides people in Australia that are experiencing emotional distress with 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention services. Whether you’re experiencing a personal crisis, you’re suicidal or you’re concerned about someone, Lifeline is there to help.

You can receive short-term support through their 24/7 crisis support phoneline 13 11 14, chat online with a Lifeline Online Crisis Supporter at any time of day or night, or you can even get support via text 24/7 (0477 13 11 14).

Lifeline listens without judgement and provides you with a safe space to discuss your circumstances. The Lifeline website also has a number of resources with information and self-support kits to help you.

Suicide Call Back Service

Providing counselling to people affected by suicide, the Suicide Call Back Service is a 24-hour service, available both on the phone and online. The service is available to people who are at risk of suicide, concerned about someone who is at risk, bereaved by suicide and those who may be experiencing mental and emotional health issues.

Available 24/7, you can contact Suicide Call Back Service by calling 1300 659 467 or by visiting their website here.

Domestic and Family Violence Helplines

Domestic violence and/or family violence is a major health and welfare issue in Australia and is a lot more common than many people may realise. It can also be a cause of not only harm against people but also homelessness and mental health issues. Finding help for when you or someone close to you is experiencing domestic, family, or sexual violence, can be especially difficult. Some highly experienced violence and abuse services in Australia include:

1800RESPECT

Abuse and violence can affect people of all ages and in all kinds of situations and often, it can be a very isolating experience for the person abused. 1800RESPECT is a national domestic family and sexual violence counselling service that provides confidential support.

1800RESPECT’s counselling services including phone (1800 797 732) and online options are available 24 hours a day, and the website also includes a number of different resources, including options to help you find support in your local region for matters such as financial help, housing and health concerns, as well as information about safety and leaving your situation.

Blue Knot Helpline

The Blue Knot Foundation provides support and advocates for people who have experienced complex trauma such as abuse, neglect, violence and/or exploitation. These kinds of trauma can occur at any age and in any kind of situation and can be extremely difficult for a person to manage.

The service has a support phone line available – 1300 657 380 – 7 days a week between 9-5pm AEST called the Blue Knot Helpline and Redress Support with counsellors available who can speak a number of different languages.

Blue Knot also has a web chat service available to gather information from and a website with further information available.

cartoon image of a person looking for mental health services on phone.

Mental Health Support

Our mental health affects how we think, feel and act, as well as how we handle stress, make decisions, and relate to people. It’s common for various factors in our lives to influence our mental health. Mental health problems can be difficult and make it a lot harder to get on with our lives. However, there are a variety of services available that can help people experiencing mental health challenges.

MensLine Australia

MensLine Australia is a free counselling and support service for men in Australia. Offering support via a phoneline (1300 78 99 78) or online, their professional counsellors can help with a wide range of matters that may affect men, including mental health, relationships, parenting matters, and family violence.

The MensLine website also features many articles and resources offering information about dealing with all kinds of issues.

Mindspot Clinic

MindSpot offers free and confidential mental health help for those with anxiety, stress, low mood or depression. The service is available online and via the telephone (1800 61 44 34) and after completing an online assessment, they aim to provide you with personalised treatment options which usually involve therapy sessions over the phone or an online course.

SANE

SANE Australia aims to help those who experience complex mental health issues and/or trauma through peer support, counselling, community forums, social groups, and information resources. Their services available are via the telephone (1800 187 263), webchat, email, forum and lots of information and resources available online.

PANDA’s National Perinatal Mental Health Helpline

PANDA or Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia, provides support for women, men and families that have been affected by anxiety and/or depression during pregnancy and the first year of parenthood. Parenting can be difficult, overwhelming and affect people’s mental health a lot more than expected. This service provides a helpline 1300 726 306 as well as comprehensive information on their website.

Butterfly Foundation National Helpline

The Butterfly Foundation’s helpline is a free and confidential counselling service that provides information and support for people with eating disorders and body image related issues. They can also provide treatment referrals. People of all ages can use this service, including children and young adults. The Butterfly Foundation can be contacted via their national helpline 1800 33 4673, via webchat online, and email, and the website itself has many resources.

Head to Health

Head to Health is a website that provides a huge range of digital mental health services for all kinds of mental health issues that may affect people of all ages. The service aims to point you in the right direction to find a support service or information that suits you. You can do this by searching the website or with the help of a virtual assistant.

Open Arms

Open Arms is a counselling and support service for veterans, personnel of the Navy, Army and Air force, and their families. The services of Open Arms include individual, couple and family counselling and there is a 24/7 support helpline which is confidential – 1800 011 046, as well as treatment programs and workshops such as educational workshops, relationship retreats and suicide prevention workshops.

The Open Arms website also includes a range of self-help tools providing practical information and exercises to help those who have been affected by trauma and/or mental health issues.

Mental Health Youth Services

Children and teenagers often experience mental health challenges which can be difficult for parents and adults to manage. Kids and teens are going through a lot of changes in their lives, many of which are not in their control, and this can cause them to have further challenges with their mental health. Some of the youth-oriented children’s mental health services in Australia include:

Kids Helpline

Kids Helpline is a free 24/7 counselling service specifically for children and young people. Aimed for people between the ages of 5-25, the service is free and confidential, providing kids and young people with a safe space to be able to open up and discuss issues affecting them. While they are mainly known as a phone service, which can be reached by calling 1800 55 1800, the Kids Helpline website has lots of resources available for kids of all ages covering many issues that may affect them.

Headspace

Headspace offers mental health support for young people via the phone, chat and online community. The aim for headspace is to help people by reducing stress and empowering them to make heathy decisions. People chat with clinicians who can provide support regarding a wide range of issues, including work, study and family matters. You can learn more about Headspace and their work here.   

ReachOut

ReachOut aims to help young people feel better and they do this by offering online support to young people and/or their parents. They aim to help connect those who use their services with the right mental health services and support that they need. ReachOut has been active since 1998 and a pioneer of online mental health support, recognising the difficulty people of all ages, especially young people, may have to ask for help.

cartoon image of people on the telephone.

Wellbeing Support Helplines

Many of life’s experiences can leave people feeling isolated. For people who need someone to talk to, who can understand and offer support for their unique situation, there are a number of services available including:

QLife

QLife provides web-based and phone support services for LGBTI people. The service provides a confidential and anonymous place for LGBTI people who want to talk about issues affecting them such as sexuality, identity, gender, feelings, and relationships. The QLife website offers a range of directories and guides, and support is also available via web chat and telephone (1800 184 527).

FriendLine

FriendLine offers support for anyone who is feeling lonely, needs a chat or needs to reconnect. FriendLine isn’t a crisis support service, rather it’s there to provide support for loneliness. Loneliness can affect people at any time and is very common after separation or divorce. All phone calls to FriendLine are anonymous and to get the best contact number for your region you can visit their website here.  

Carer Gateway

If you’re a carer of a person you may be eligible for a wide range of support services and the Carer Gateway government support service may be able to help you to determine this. Carer Gateway provides information, counselling, and peer support groups amongst other resources to carers to support the work that they do. The website is full of comprehensive information to support carers and a phone line is also available at 1800 422 737.

Indigenous Australian Support

The experiences of aboriginal and Torres strait islander people may differ significantly to other Australians due to the long history of trauma, grief, and loss. The cultural disconnection can also lead to mental health issues that are complex in nature and requires culturally appropriate support.

13YARN

13YARN is a free and confidential crisis support helpline run by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders for Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders. Available 24/7, 13YARN is a culturally safe space to discuss needs and worries. The team at 13YARN will work with you to explore options for on-going support. The service is available by calling 13 92 76 and you can learn more about the service here.

Substance Abuse

Substance abuse and addiction are common issues in Australia. Whether you’re struggling with addiction yourself or someone close to you is, there are support services that can help you find treatment and offer advice including:

Counselling ONLINE

Counselling ONLINE is an alcohol and drug support and chat counselling service that is free, confidential and available 24/7. The service is available for people who have been or are affected by drug or alcohol use, both for the users and those who may support someone who abuses substances. They offer a variety of support options including an online community, self-help information, chat counselling, emails, assessments and telephone support via the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline 1800 250 015.

Gambler’s Help

Gambler’s Help is a free and confidential help service that aims to provide support for those who are affected by gambling, whether it’s those who want to regain control over a gambling addiction or those who are affected by someone who gambles in their life. They offer phone support (1800 858 858) as well as lots of online resources and directories.

Financial Hardship and Government Support

Services Australia

If you’re experiencing financial hardship, or you meet certain requirements, you may be entitled one of some of the various financial support payments that are available from the Australian government. The Centrelink program, through Services Australia, provides social security payments to people depending on their circumstances.

There are a number of different support programs available including those for carer allowance, farmer assistance, parenting assistance, crisis payments, education payments, youth allowance, job seeker allowance, pensions, rural and remote Australians, people with disabilities, Indigenous Australians, and more.

One of the easiest ways to get in touch with Centrelink is through the Services Australia website. On the website you can select the circumstances that suit your situation to learn as to whether you’re eligible for a particular payment type, the steps you need to take and lots of other handy information.

As there are many different kinds of support available, the Services Australia website can help you find the right phone for the relevant service to suit you.

cartoon image of a person filling out an oversized checklist form.

Legal Matters

When you’re involved in a legal matter it can be extremely overwhelming. Whether you’re worried about getting into legal trouble or having difficulty understanding what is required of you, there are a number of places you can turn to, including:

Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia

The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia is the main court that you may need to deal with if you’re involved in a family law matter, such as divorce, divisions of property and assets, child custody and parenting matters. You may not need to go to court for every family law matter, though you may need to submit applications and forms to resolve matters.

The FCFCOA website is a rich resource that provides a lot of information, including the forms and applications you may need in most family law matters as well as advice on how to handle your matter.

Unified Lawyers

Being involved in any legal matter is stressful, especially when its one that involves your family. Often you may need to resolve issues after a particularly overwhelming event, like the breakdown of a relationship and it can be difficult to know what is required of you or what your options are. At Unified Lawyers, we’re a specialised family law firm that is dedicated to helping people all over Australia to resolve their family law matters and find the best outcomes to suit them. We provide advice, representation and resolutions so that you can move forward with your life.  

Talk to Unified Lawyers Today

Many of life’s experiences can take its toll on our mental and physical health, which is why these resources have been created. There’s no shame in asking for help. If you need legal help or advice for a family law matter, such as separation, divorce, or parenting matter, here at Unified Lawyers, we can help you. Contact us by calling 1300 667 461 or book a free consultation with us using the button below.

Lauren Spence Family Lawyer Sydney

Lauren Spence

Lauren is a passionate family lawyer who genuinely appreciates the emotional difficulty that comes with divorce and separation. Since her admission as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of NSW, Lauren has practiced almost exclusively in the area of divorce and family law.

“All materials throughout this entire website has been prepared by Unified Lawyers for informational purposes only. All materials throughout this entire website are not legal advice and should not be interpreted as legal advice. We do not guarantee that any of the information on this website is current or correct.

You should seek specialist legal advice or other professional advice about your specific circumstances.
All information on this site is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute a lawyer-client relationship between you and Unified lawyers.

Information on this site is not updated regularly and so may not be up to date.”