Everyone has those days when they’re feeling a bit blue, anxious, or irritable. But when those feelings start changing the way you see things or disrupt your ability to carry out daily activities, seeking help might be what you need.
Mental health problems are not uncommon. In Australia, approximately one in four young people experiences a mental health illness each year. These might stem from anywhere – study and work issues, strained relationships, problems with socialising, financial issues and more.
Unfortunately, unhelpful stigmatisation still sticks. Some people might dismiss the idea of looking for help, and even tell persons with mental health problems to just “move on”, “suck it up”, or “get over it”. However, the earlier you obtain help, the better it is for your well-being. There should be no shame in reaching out and trying to get better.
Talking to the people who are close to you (friends or family) can support your journey towards solving these problems. However, as an international student, these people might not always be readily available. Nevertheless, HELP is always provided in Australia. Here are some ways in which you can get professional yet affordable well-being services.
Your Institution’s Counselling and Psychological Service
Most education institutions provide free and confidential individual counselling on campus. Not only do they offer consultation on personal problems, but also they give out tips on academic productivity. Booking an appointment is recommended as the centres are usually busy! Their websites may also have online resources and self-help information that you can refer to.
Support Services and Helplines
National helplines such as beyond blue, headspace and Mindspot provide their services in various ways – you may give them a call, send them an email or even chat online. Other than providing direct help and referrals, they are also packed with information kits that are tailored to meet the needs of people with different backgrounds and issues.
For a more extensive treatment, your institution’s counsellor or the help lines might refer you to a GP or psychologist. Your Overseas Health Student Cover (OSHC) can cover some or even all of your expenses. Talk to your OSHC provider to find out more about the details: your entitlements, possible waiting period, and more.
If you are having suicidal thoughts, you may call Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14or Suicide Call Back on 1300 659 467. If in immediate danger or emergency, please call 000.
Last modified: November 19, 2015