At the Freelance Jungle, we deal with our fair share of freelance mental health conversations. Our group focusses on ending isolation, reminding self-employed people stress has a productivity cost and raising the knowledge the bar. Because we focus in these arenas, we find ourselves dealing with a lot of high stress, pointy end questions, problems and more among our membership.
We love that we can be a part of the freelance mental health conversation and it’s something we’re quite proud of bringing to the fore.
However, we recognise there is a limitation to what we can do for people in crisis, mental health or otherwise.
Sometimes, a community alone is not enough. We recognise the Freelance Jungle cannot be all things to all people. And that we simply don’t have the resources and ability to do major crisis situations the justice they deserve.
That’s why we’ve collated helpful contacts and phone numbers for mental health services
We have focused on national services for the moment so that we don’t accidentally exclude anyone in need. However, we welcome comments for services you think are useful on this blog so we can build them out more, state or national.
Let’s try to build something we can easily access to share with our fellow freelancers in their time of need.
Here are some of the freelance mental health and return to wellness resources you can access
When you need to talk
Lifeline is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
Lifeline has a website. You can call 13 11 14 24hours, 7days. A text services are also available 0477 13 11 14 within Australia, between 6pm-midnight, 7 days a week. Certain branches also offer face-to-face support. They also run regular crisis intervention and skills training around Australia. The service also has a database of many and varied services that they can access to find you more resources as you need them.
By way of disclosure, our founder Rebekah Lambert has trained as a Lifeline crisis supporter after seeing an increasing need to improve her skills when dealing with freelancers in crisis.
Beyond Blue is an Australian independent non-profit organisation working to address issues associated with depression, suicide, anxiety disorders and other related mental disorders.
Beyondblue has a website that has a chat feature as well as specific forums. They run a crisis line you can call 1300 224 636. And they have specific information about the challenges faced by small businesses and freelancers.
By way of disclosure, our founder Rebekah Lambert was part of a joint Beyond Blue and Council of Small Business reference work group into improving the communication of mental health support and early warning signs to self-employed Australians in 2015 to 2016.
MindSpot is a free telephone and online service for people with stress, worry, anxiety, low mood or depression. It provides online assessment and treatment for anxiety and depression. MindSpot is not an emergency or instant response service.
Call 1800 61 44 34 AEST, 8am-8pm (Mon-Fri), 8am-6pm (Sat).
Suicide Call Back Service is a nationwide service that provides professional 24/7 telephone and online counselling to people who are affected by suicide. It can be used if you are feeling suicidal, if you are seeking advice on looking after someone who has thoughts of suicide and/or if you have been bereaved as a result of suicide.
Suicide Call Back Service offers a website with chat and vide chat services as well as a phone line 1300 659 467. It also has resources to help you set a safety plan to keep you safe when thoughts of suicide are pervasive and strong. Support is available 24hours, 7 days a week.
moodgym is like an interactive self-help book which helps you to learn and practise skills which can help to prevent and manage symptoms of depression and anxiety.
It’s an app that is worldwide (so not Australian government based) and operates on a basis of cognitive behaviour therapy.
If your child is experiencing issues with mental health, stress, bullying and/or life pressures
eheadspace provides mental health and wellbeing support, information and services to young people aged 12 to 25 years and their families. Call 1800 650 890, 9am-1am AEST / 7 days a week.
1800 551 800 (5 to 25 year olds) or 1800 654 432 (parents)
1300 224 636 (12-25 year olds)
Parenting specific/ Mens & Womens specific
If you know of any national parenting resources that would help us grow this list of freelance mental health resources, please let us know in the comments below.
PANDA stands for Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia and it supports women, men and families across Australia affected by anxiety and depression during pregnancy and in the first year of parenthood. PANDA operates Australia’s only National Helpline for individuals and their families to recover from perinatal anxiety and depression, a serious illness that affects up to one in five expecting or new mums and one in ten expecting or new dads.
The service is available Monday to Friday 9am to 7.30pm AEST via 1300 726 306 as well as fact sheets and resources via the website.
Dads in Distress is a dedicated support group for men whose immediate concern is to stem the present trend of male suicide due to the trauma of divorce or separation. Mums in Distress is a dedicated support group for women experiencing the same.
The services offer face to face support groups as well as a phone line via 1300 853 437.
There doesn’t seem to be one national body that helps parents with advice. However, this page on Raising Children does seem to have a wealth of state resources across a few parenting topics.
RESPECT (violence against women education and support services)
Respect is a government service that aims to educate Australians on the link between disrespecting women and the rate of injury, death and domestic violence.
Respect offers a website of resources as well as a crisis line specific for women experiencing violence at the hands of one or more family members.
Call 1800 RESPECT for support and head to the RESPECT website.
MensLine Australia is a telephone and online counselling service for men with emotional health and relationship concerns. The services offers a wide range of mental health resources as well as tips and support on parenting, changing relationships with stress, alcohol and emotional responses.
They offer phone counselling on 1300 789 978 and online counselling via the MensLine Australia website.
QLife provides anonymous and free LGBTI peer support and referral for people in Australia wanting to talk about sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings or relationships.
The service includes a phone service that is available from 3pm to 12am AEST on 1800 184 527 and a website that includes web chat facility, website resources and links to state and area services.
Black Rainbow is a national advocacy platform and touchpoint for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBQTI) peoples. It supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBQTI people through a variety of community projects and initiatives called Contagion of Love projects.
You can find out more about Black Rainbow and their projects via their website.
Other supporting services
Roses in the Ocean (suicide bereavement)
Roses in the Ocean is for all people with a lived experience of suicide to feel confident accessing a range of services and supports which will empower them towards recovery in a timely, respectful and compassionate manner. This includes a focus on providing the tools for adults to help children and young people affected by suicide of someone close to them through age-appropriate disclosure and discourse. It champions the usage of lived experiences of people bereaved by suicide in prevention and education initiatives.
Roses in the Ocean runs events and workshops as well as a mentoring program to help others. They offer resources, have a podcast, do regular speaking engagements and also run a callback service.
Butterfly Foundation (eating disorders)
Butterfly Foundation represents all people affected by eating disorders and negative body image – a person with the illness, their family and their friends.
They offer a chat service via their website, phone service and email discussion service. They also offer a wide range of resources for people with eating disorders, their families and professionals who may be working with people that have eating disorders. Support services are available Monday-Friday 8am to 9pm AEST on 1800 334 673.
Blue Knot Foundation Helpline (formerly ASCA Professional Support Line) provides help, information, support or referral for adult survivors of childhood trauma and abuse, their partners, family and friends, health professionals and anyone in the workplace working with people who have experienced childhood trauma and abuse. Call 1300 657 380, 9am-5pm AEST / 7 days a week.
HealthDirect (health and wellness information)
Your alternative to Dr Google when seeking health information, HealthDirect is a general health information and advice line run by the government. They offer a symptom checker, general health information, weight reduction advice and pregnancy information.
They are accessible 24/7 via 1800 022 222 and the website.
As many freelancers choose self-employment due to disability management, we have included some info related to disability as part of freelance mental health resources. We welcome your suggestions with increasing this list.
Wellways (disability and mental health support)
Wellways Australia Limited is a leading not-for-profit mental health and disability support organisation with services in Queensland, New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and Tasmania. Their services span mental health, disability and community care, and reach thousands of people each year.
To uncover what services Wellways offers in your area, make use of their postcode search.
There is a Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability currently being undertaken in Australia. This is a distressing time for many in the disability community and their families as we as a nation review the practices, policies and examples of people with disabilities being mistreated, neglected and discriminated against. If the Royal Commission is impacting you, please know that help is available.
Contact the National Counselling & Referral Service on 1800 421 468, 9am – 6pm AEST Mon- Fri and 9am – 5pm AEST Sat, Sun & public holidays.
Specific to armed forces
We know that a certain percentage of spouses to military personnel and/or police and government postings will become self-employed to help aid manage the mobile nature of the career. To help protect your freelance mental health, we also supply mental health info for serving and post-service partners.
Open Arms — Veterans and Families Counselling provides 24/7 free and confidential, nationwide counselling and support for war and service-related mental health conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, sleep disturbance and anger.
Call 1800 011 046 and/or make use of their topic specific apps for veterans and their families.
Soldier On offer support to Veterans, Australian Federal Police, Australian Border Force, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and other security agencies.
This service provides health and wellbeing services such as support groups and counselling, employment opportunities and change of career opportunities, education and training, and social connection.
Soldier On has physical centres across the country and can provide support, through some programs and services, via phone, email or skype during business hours. Phone 1300 620 380 and check the website.
Changing relationships with alcohol and drugs
Part of maintaining freelance mental health is about our relationship with alcohol and drugs. If you believe that your physical or mental wellness is being impaired by drugs and alcohol, help is available at the following places.
Quitline counsellors are trained experts in quitting smoking. They can give you small steps to help you break the habit and can support you over your quitting journey.
You can access Quitline on 13 7848 8am to 8pm AEST. You can also request a callback via the web or by texting ‘call back’ to 13 7848. They also offer specific support for Aboriginal members of the community.
You can call the Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) for support, information, advice, crisis counseling and referral to services. ADIS advisors understand the difficulties of finding appropriate drug and alcohol treatment and use their knowledge and experience to assist you. The numbers are state specific.
Australian Capital Territory
Alcohol and Drug Telephone Line (24-hour)
Ph: (02) 5124 9977
New South Wales
Alcohol and Drug Information Service (24-hour)
Free call: 1800 250 015
Family Drug Support
Ph: 1300 368 186
Stimulant (ice, cocaine, mdma) Treatment Line (STL)
Ph: 1800 10 11 88
Alcohol and Drug Information Service
Free call: 1800 131 350
Ph: (08) 8922 8399 (Darwin)
Ph: (08) 8951 7580 (Alice Springs)
Alcohol and Drug Information Service
Free call: 1800 177 833 (24-hour, Queensland only)
Alcohol and Drug Information Service
Free call: 1300 131 340 (8.30 am – 10 pm, SA only)
Alcohol and Drug Services
Free call: 1800 250 015 (24-hour)
Free call: 1800 888 236
Alcohol and Drug Support Line (24-hour)
Ph: (08) 9442 5000 (metro)
Free call: 1800 198 024 (rural WA only)
Call back service available for country callers.
Al-Anon is designed to help families and friends of alcoholics recover from the effects of living with someone whose drinking is a problem. They also offer a specific service for parents and teens when a teen has a problematic relationship with alcohol.
Hello Sunday Morning is on a mission is to change the world’s relationship with alcohol, one Sunday at a time. Hello Sunday Morning was born in 2009 when now CEO, Chris Raine, undertook a year-long experiment to quit drinking. A nightclub promoter at the time, Chris blogged about the challenges and successes of this experiment when he woke up hangover-free every Sunday Morning, signing off with, “Hello, Sunday morning!”
This community has now merged into our key offering – a program called Daybreak. Daybreak is helping people to change their drinking habits one day at a time. Daybreak is a digital service that people can access through either an app or the web. It provides an anonymous and supportive environment for consumers to set alcohol change goals and to then work with health professionals to achieve them.
A caveat on the freelance mental health information supplied
Please note: Your mental and physical wellbeing matters. This information should not be used as a replacement for appropriate support. Use it as a starting block in concert with support from a GP and/or qualified mental health professional. You are your best asset and you should treat it accordingly. Please seek help from a doctor and/or qualified professional.
Feel free to list any other services you think help with freelance mental health management below.