I've Been There

Who to talk to about depression or anxiety

You might feel like mental health problems are big and scary, and don’t apply to you. It’s okay to feel that way, or like you’re just a bit stressed or a bit worried. Learn more about feeling stressed and worried.


There are some common mental health problems that can affect parents. Find out more about different kinds of mental health issues.


Asking for help shows that you care about yourself and your family and want to be a good parent! Remember, even if you’re just a bit concerned about how stressed or worried you’re feeling, it’s still good to talk it over with someone.


What should I do first?

It’s a good idea to talk to your doctor or GP first of all. 


If you need to talk to someone else, your doctor can write a Mental Health Plan with you and refer you to a mental health specialists. We’ve listed some below.


Your Mental Health Plan helps so that you can have some of the costs covered by a Medicare rebate.


Who else can I talk to?

Your GP can help you work out who to talk to next, but you might consider seeing a counsellor, social worker, psychologist or psychiatrist, depending on what you need help with.

  • Counsellors help people by talking through their thoughts, issues, feelings and problems to find a solution.
  • Psychologists have different qualifications to Counsellors but they still help people by talking through their thoughts, issues, feelings and problems to find a solution.
  • Mental Health Social Workers provide a bunch of different types of support to help you improve your life, including counselling, helping you find useful information, and emotional and practical support.
  • Psychiatrists are doctors who specialises in mental health, mental illness and mental disorders. A psychiatrist can prescribe medication and help you manage your mental illness. 


I was really nervous about going to the doctor to talk about my problems and as soon I got inside the room, I burst into tears. But once I started talking I felt relieved and the doctor was very understanding.”



I don’t have much money, can I afford it?

If you need to see a psychologist or psychiatrist, ask your doctor to send you to someone who bulk bills. If they bulk bill, Medicare covers the cost for you. Medicare has different rebates so you probably won’t have to pay the full cost, but if you’re unsure ask whether they bulk bill when you’re making your appointment.


Going to your first appointment

  • Some people like to go to appointments alone, while others like to take a friend, their partner or a family member for support
  • Even if you are feeling good on the day of the appointment, you should still go as things can go up and down quickly
  • It’s okay to feel nervous about going to the appointment
  • It can be a good idea to make a list of things you want to tell or ask the doctor so you don’t forget what to say 
  • Remember - your health professional can’t tell anyone that you came to see them or what you said, unless you give them permission or under very specific circumstances. This is called confidentiality


Still not sure? Want to know more about limits on confidentiality? Read more about costs and confidentiality.


You can also talk to someone on the phone

beyondblue Info Line

1300 22 4636

24 hour information on mental health services and referrals


Post and Antenatal Depression Association Inc (PANDA)

1300 726 306

Mon-Fri, 10am-5pm. Telephone support for anyone affected by post and antenatal mood disorders



13 11 14

24 hour telephone crisis support service 


When the doctor told me I had to go to the psychiatrist I was really worried and scared and kind of embarrassed. I didn’t really know what was going to happen, but it wasn’t that scary.”