TAMS has developed a new Mental Health Support Services information page to provide relevant information.
If you have a question about your mast cell disease, please send us your question via our online form, or join our Facebook Patient Support Group. You can also attend our bi-monthly online mast cell disease support group.
Please note that TAMS cannot provide crisis support or medical advice in any circumstances. If you or a loved one are in need of urgent care for matters of physical or mental wellbeing you need to contact Triple zero (000) AUST / Triple one (111) NZ.
Appropriate steps to take in non-urgent situations
For a non-critical medical assessment and advice, including how soon you need to be assessed by a physician in person, Australian residents can call HealthDirect 24/7 on 1800 022 222 to speak with a Registered Nurse. You can also assess non-critical symptoms using the HealthDirect Symptom Checker.
Individuals in Aotearoa New Zealand can seek non-critical medical advice 24/7 including if you or a family member needs to see a doctor, or if you are on holiday in New Zealand and want to know where the nearest doctor or pharmacy is you can contact Healthline by phone (0800 611 116) to speak with a Registered Nurse.
If you are deaf, hearing impaired, or deafblind Healthline can engage with the NZ Relay Services to support you.
Conducting personal reviews of your mental wellbeing – why it’s important with a chronic illness.
Living with a chronic illness, and the uncertainty of its symptoms and side effects from medications, can contribute to issues such as fatigue, increased anxiety or sense-of-dread, restlessness/listlessness, feelings of fragility or anger, despondency, forgetfulness, a lack of interest in exercise, hobbies/socialising and a lack of or increased interest in food.
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for people with chronic illness and pain to attribute such symptoms to their physiological condition and try to “push through”. However, there is increasing evidence to suggest treating mental health and chronic illness simultaneously can achieve improved outcomes for both mental and physical health long term.
It is important to conduct a mental health check-in every so often. Regardless of your results if you feel it may be beneficial to your wellbeing to reach out for help please do.
Note: If you do not feel safe within yourself, have self harmed or intend to, or plan to end your life please immediately contact Triple zero (000) AU/Triple one (111) NZ and ask for the Police to provide crisis support.
Mental health support services in Australia
If you are in need of mental health support, please contact one of the following free services:
Lifeline provides support to anyone in Australia in need of emotional support, regardless of age, race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, or religion. Lifeline’s Crisis Supporters are available 24/7 by phone on 13 11 14, via text, and through online chat to listen with compassion and provide judgement-free support.
If you prefer to speak in a language other than English call 131 450, say your language, followed by “Lifeline 13 11 14”. Once connected you can speak in your preferred language, a qualified interpreter will stay on the line (for free) to translate for the duration of the call.
Beyond Blue support services are available 24/7 by phone on 1300 224 636, online chat, and by email (responses within 24 hours) to anyone affected by depression or anxiety. They can also provide specific information relevant to young people, women, men, older people, pregnant people, and families, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, LGBTI people, and multicultural people.
MensLine Australia is a 24/7 national telephone (1300 78 99 78) and online support service staffed by professional counsellors, experienced in men’s issues. MensLine Australia provides information, and referral service for men over 15 years of age with concerns about mental health, anger management, family violence, addiction, relationship, stress, and well-being.
Kids Helpline is a 24/7 service young people aged 5 to 25 can engage with at any time, for any reason. People in the eligible age group can also contact Kids Helpline counsellors through their one-on-one WebChat or by phoning 1800 55 1800.
Open Arms provides 24/7 free and confidential counselling to anyone who has served at least one day in the Army, Navy, or Airforce, their spouses, and their families. Open Arms can provide individual, couple, and family counselling to help improve resilience, as well as mental health and wellbeing. Phone 1800 011 046 for support.
SANE Australia is a non-crisis service that supports all people regardless of gender, culture, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation. They provide free counselling support to adults who identify as having a complex mental illness, complex trauma, or high levels of psychological distress, and their family, friends and carers. Their team can also suggest third-party support and treatment services available across Australia.
SANE Australia can be contacted by phone on 1800 187 263 from 10 am to 10 pm, Monday to Friday AEST/AEDT, and via web chat when possible. Their team can also respond to email inquiries within 48 hours.
If you prefer to speak in a language other than English call 131 450, say your language, followed by “SANE Help Centre 1800 187 263”. Once connected you can speak in your preferred language, and a qualified interpreter will stay on the line to translate for the duration of the call.
13YARN provides free 27/4 crisis support for mob who are feeling overwhelmed or having difficulty coping. The service is run by Lifeline-trained Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Crisis Supporters who will understand where you are coming from and value knowing HOW to listen, without judgement or shame. Phone 13 92 76.
Blue Knot Foundation Helpline is an Australian-based, free and confidential service for adults operating by phone (1300 393 919) 9 am – 5 pm AEST/AEDT, 7 days a week.
Culturally safe and queer-friendly trained counsellors respond to voicemail and real-time calls (where possible), providing counselling on past or present complex trauma, extreme interpersonal trauma (between people), and for survivors of violence, abuse and neglect (childhood – adulthood). Blue Knot Helpline also provides information and help applying for the National Redress Scheme, and assistance to individuals personal, familial or professional persons that support survivors.
If you have a question, want to request non-urgent support/information, or need phone counselling in Armenian, French or German please email email@example.com.
Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia (PANDA) Helpline is a free non-crisis confidential counselling phone service (1300 726 306) that operates Monday – Saturday (including public holidays) from 9 am – 7:30 pm AEST/AEDT.
PANDA Helpline provides free and confidential counselling and information for families during pregnancy and with perinatal mental health issues in the first year of parenthood. PANDA also has written resources in 40 other languages for non-English speakers.
QLife is a non-crisis service that provides free Australia-wide anonymous LGBTI peer-support by telephone (1800 184 527) from 3 pm – midnight every day of the year (including public holidays), they also offer webchat (when possible).
QLife trained LGBTI community members provide support and referral for people wanting to talk about a range of issues including sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings or relationships. QLife also provides support to friends, family and health professionals who support LGBTI persons.
GriefLine is a free non-crisis and confidential 20-minute support service for Australian adults 18 years and over affected by grief. Griefline trained volunteers are available 24/7, and 365 days a year, from 8 am – 8 pm to respond to live calls (1300 845 745) and booking requests for support with various types of grief including:
- Grieving due to a health diagnosis received by you or a loved one
- Losing connections to community/friends/family due to the passing of a loved one
- Loss of business/career/livelihood
- Loss of beloved pets
- Loss of a relationship (separation/divorce)
- Grief during/following natural disaster
Individuals who would prefer to speak in a language other than English (LOTE) interpreting services can use Griefline’s booking service and specify that they need an interpreter. Griefline services are also available to those who are sight or hearing-impaired and use the National Relay Service.
FriendLine is a non-crisis anonymous support service for adults in Australia feeling lonely, needing to reconnect or just to have a chat. Friendline’s trained volunteers are available 7 days a week by phone (1800 424 287) from 6 pm – 8 pm AEST/AEDT.
Mental health support services in Aotearoa New Zealand
If you are in a crisis, feel unsafe within yourself, are thinking about harming yourself, or someone else please contact Triple one (111), ask for the Police and be direct about your situation so they can provide appropriate support.
If you think someone has attempted suicide or you’re worried about their safety but they are not in critical danger you should call your local mental health Crisis Assessment Triage Team or go with them to the nearest Hospital Emergency Department.
Provide it is safe to do so you can also:
- Stay with them until support arrives
- Remove any dangerous paraphernalia (ropes, pills, guns, car keys, knives)
- Try to stay calm, take some deep breaths. Let them know you care
- Keep them talking: listen and ask questions without judging
- Make sure you are safe
If the situation changes and your or their immediate safety is compromised call Triple one (111).
If you are in need of mental health support, please contact one of the following free services:
0508 TAUTOKO/Suicide Crisis Helpline is a non-crisis service available 24/7 to people in New Zealand, The Helpline is operated by trained and experienced social service practitioners with suicide prevention training.
If there is not an immediate crisis occurring and you are concerned for a loved one who may be having suicidal thoughts Suicide Crisis Helpline has resources that may help.
Lifeline Aotearoa is a non-crisis LGBTQIA+ friendly and confidential service available to people in New Zealand 24/7 by phone (0800 543 354) or text (4357). The service is run by highly trained staff and volunteers who assist with issues including emotional and psychological distress, anxiety, depression, relationship and family problems, domestic violence and abuse, work and financial problems and many more.
OutLine Aotearoa is a free confidential service run by trained volunteers who are available to support individuals from the rainbow community of all-ages, their friends, whānau, and those questioning, by phone (0800 688 5463) and webchat (where possible) from 6 pm – 9 pm NZST, 7 days a week.
Outline Aoteraora also has support for parents, as well as specialised rainbow counselling and an Auckland based peer support service for trans and non-binary people 28 years and up. OutlLine Aoteraora suggests rainbow youth aged 27 and younger contact Rainbow Youth for peer support.
Anxiety NZ Helpline provides phone services (0800 269 4389) to individuals of any age, as well as educational resources and information about third-party mental health services, and also assists family and friends supporting loved ones with anxiety. Anxiety NZ Helpline is open 365 days a year.
From 8 am – 12 am services are available to all individuals affected by anxiety directly or otherwise. Due to reduced resources Anxiety NZ asks that from 12 am/midnight the Helpline is only for individuals experiencing severe.
Parent Help has a Free Parenting Helpline for parents, grandparents, caregivers and whānau. Trained support workers are available from 9am – 9 pm NZST, 7 days a week by phone (0800 568 856) to provide compassionate, friendly, non-judgemental support on all parenting issues related to children from infancy to late adolescence.
Free online self-directed/self-paced mental health services
Beating the Blues (NZ) is a program which is free to people living in New Zealand. It is focused on depression and utilities clinically proven Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). The interactive program works with you, helping you to understand the tools and learn the techniques that will modify your thinking.
There are eight 50 minute sessions that are best spaced out to one per week. You will be guided through the sessions in exactly the same way a therapist would in face-to-face CBT sessions. The program will teach you many skills to manage your mental health and how to put what you learnt in each session into practice.
At the end of each session there will be prompts for you to think about as you go about your daily life. The more of this ‘homework’ you do, the better. Because it equips you with workable skills for lifeith regular application CBT has been proven much more long-lasting than antidepressant alone.
Moodgym (AU) is a free evidenced based interactive program for individuals in Australia 16 and older. It is based on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Interpersonal Therapy (IT) which is like an interactive, online self-help book which teaches skills based on CBT funded by Telephone Counselling, Self Help and Web-based Support Programmes run by the Department of Health & Aged Care.
The free 12-week programs provide comprehensive evidence-based, and effective information and resources to help you understand mental health difficulties and their treatment. The programs offered are:
- generalised anxiety disorder
- social anxiety disorder
- obsessive compulsive disorder
- post-traumatic stress disorder
- panic disorder with or without agoraphobia
- Made-4-Me, a tailored program
Mental Health Online can help individuals who are struggling to better understand their needs through an online psychological assessment program (e-PASS), self-help and, if you choose, free online professional support to eTherapists to support you through your treatment program. This is provided via email, but you can also add free video or instant messaging sessions. More information on how this service is delivered is available in the Model of Care document of March 2022.
Small Steps website is full of free digital tools to help people of Aotearoa New Zealand as well as those in other countries take small, progressive steps on their journey to improve mental wellbeing by managing stress, improving anxiety management and managing low mood, retraining thoughts and much more.
Free personal mental health apps
Smiling Mind is a free Apple and Android compatible app developed by psychologists and educators to help reduce stress and improve wellbeing. The app is recommended for 10-minutes of use a day and offers a variety of online meditation sessions and other daily meditation activities suitable for children, young people and adults.
The app can measure progress and skills, as well as set daily meditation reminders so sessions can be made to become progressively more advanced as your skills develop.