We can all go through times when our thought and feelings seem overwhelming. Mental health issues like depression and anxiety make everything in life seem so much harder, because they affect how you think or feel about yourself.

Many factors can affect your mental health: physical things like not getting enough sleep, eating loads of junk food and using alcohol and drugs, or things like worrying about what’s going on with your family or friends. Sometimes it just happens, and it can affect anyone, young or old.

Help is a phone call away. Sometimes the best way to get through a problem is to talk about what’s on your mind. If you can’t tell a friend or your parents, try talking to a counsellor. You don’t have to go through it alone.

What the...?

Counsellor – someone who can help you talk through problems, and give you advice about what to do.

Mental Health Emergency – most mental health emergencies involve the threat of suicide or an actual suicide attempt. They might also involve someone threatening to harm another person.

Psychosis – a mental condition that causes people to see, hear or believe things that are not real. Symptoms include hallucinations, hearing voices, and having delusions that people are trying to harm you.

Mental health emergencies
If it's an emergency during office hours, call your local Community Health Centre, who will put you through to the ACCESS helpline. ACCESS can refer you to any mental health service in the Blue Mountains. For anything less urgent, or if it's after hours, call ACCESS direct on 1800 011 511.

The local numbers are:
Ph Katoomba 4782 2133
Ph Springwood 4751 0100
Ph Penrith 4732 9450

Personal Helpers and Mentors Program
Helps people over 16 with mental health issues to recover and live successfully in the community.
Upper Mountains and Lithgow Ph: 6350 0100
Lower & Mid Mountains Ph: 4720 9780
Non-judgemental help for people aged 12 - 25 with mental health concerns. Open Monday to Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm
Penrith, 606 High Street
Phone: 4720 8800
Western Sydney University Psychology Clinics
Free and unlimited mental health / psychological services to young people in the Blue Mountains and Penrith areas. Assessment and treatment is available.

Western Sydney University
Building BA, Penrith/Werrington South Campus
Great Western Highway
Phone: 9852 5288

Helplines and useful websites
The following numbers can give you help in a crisis:

Lifeline Ph 13 11 14
Kids Helpline Ph 1800 55 18 00
Beyondblue Infoline Ph 1300 22 4636

For info and people’s stories go to:

YPOP - Richmond PRA
This is an accommodation support service and rehabilitation program for young people aged 16-25 who have been diagnosed with a mental illness. They also run a drop-in centre for people aged 18-30 with art groups, cooking classes and a pool table. You’ll need a referral first, available through Headspace.
Penrith 1/80 Henry Street
Ph 9393 9354
‘West Club’ Drop-In Centre
252 High St, Penrith.
Ph 9393 9207