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Multicultural mental health support


Finding the right support for your mental health wellbeing can at times be difficult. We acknowledge that attitudes around mental illness, mental health, and mental well-being differ around the world and are impacted by culture, ethnicity, and religious beliefs.

Whether you identify as a refugee, asylum seeker, first or second-generation migrant there are supports and recourses available to assist you during your journey of mental wellbeing.

Supporting yourself

Taking action to support your mental wellbeing can look different for everyone. You may prefer to connect with others in your community, a service provider or work on a few calming or relaxation techniques by yourself at home. In fact, you may already have your ways of looking after your mental wellbeing however if this is new to you, there are online resources available in multiple languages that you may find helpful.

This Way Up has a list of Coping Tools available in several languages. These include:

  • Ways to express yourself
  • Steps for calming your emotions
  • Controlled breathing
  • A guide to good sleep and
  • Creating your own personal Self-Care Plan.

If you are feeling unsure or nervous about asking for help know that you are not alone. Not all services may feel right for you and it is ok to do some research before you choose a service, a doctor, or health professional. If it is not an emergency, take some time and ask questions.

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Support Services are specifically designed to respect cultural backgrounds and beliefs and often include support staff who are bi-lingual or have their own personal lived experiences as refugees or migrants.

There are a few ways support services can assist you including but not limited to:

  • Finding appropriate housing
  • Finding work
  • If you are new to Australia and need help finding appropriate health care
  • Access to family support or counselling
  • Access to a translator
  • Link into community groups
  • Legal advice

If you are looking for help but haven’t been able to find the right service a good place to start is Embrace Multicultural Mental Health. Embrace Mental Health has a great list of services around Australia for people who identify as someone from a culturally diverse community.

Supporting another person

As a member of a CALD community language barriers and cultural differences can present additional challenges when it comes to accessing support.

Factors such as adjusting to living in a new country, trauma, cultural stigma and differences in the way people describe and understand mental wellbeing can also have an impact on whether someone will access services.

When it comes to mental wellbeing there are a few things you can do to support someone from a CALD community:

  • Be patient and seek clarification. Seek assistance from a professional interpreter service such as TIS National if you are unable to clearly communicate with one another.
  • Help them to find culturally appropriate information regarding mental health. Websites such as Refugee Health Network Queensland and Transcultural Mental Health Centre provide translated resources.
  • Encourage cultural acceptance within your community. Help fight the stigma and create change.
  • Within some cultures, mental health and treatment are viewed differently, family expectations may differ, and mental illness and seeking help can bring on feelings of shame. Considerer cultural differences when trying to assist someone.

How we can help

If you or someone you know is in crisis

If you are worried you may harm yourself or someone else, or need immediate help for someone else in this situation:

Please call 000

If you are in distress

Other helplines

Please select a state you live in

Suicide Call Back Service

Available 24/7

1800RESPECT (Domestic Violence Support Line)

Available 24/7

13YARN (First Nations Peoples Crisis Support Line)

Available 24/7

Finding North - Information & Referral Service (Partner organisations)

Available Weekdays 9am-5pm

Defence All Hours Support Line

Available 24/7

MensLine Australia

Available 24/7

Access Mental Health Line

Available 24/7

Canberra Head to Health Centre

Hours vary

NSW Hospital and Health Services

Available 24/7

Penrith Head to Health

From 1pm

NT Mental Health Line

Available 24/7

Darwin Head To Health

Mon to Fri 10 am -10 pm. Weekends 12 pm to 8 pm

Health Direct

Available 24/7

1300 MH Call

Available 24/7

Townsville Head to Health

Weekdays 10am -10pm and Weekends 12pm -10pm

SA Mental Health Triage

Available 24/7

Urgent Mental Health Care Centre (UMHCC)

Available 24/7

Access Mental Health- Helpline Triage

9am - 10pm

Launceston Head to Health

9sm – 5pm Monday to Friday


Available 24/7

Victoria Psychiatric Triage

Available 24/7

Geelong Head to Health

Mon to Fri 9am–9pm. Weekends and Public Holidays 1pm – 6pm

Rurallink -Mental Health Emergency Response Line

Weeknights 4:30pm-8:30pm / 24hrs on Weekends and Public Holidays

Peel -Mental Health Emergency Response Line

Available 24/7

TTY - Mental Health Emergency Response Line

Available 24/7

Metro - Mental Health Emergency Response Line

Available 24/7

Perth Midland head to health

10am - 8pm

Please select a state you live in
Service Options
Quick Escape