Stress Management

Definition, signs and symptoms, tips for management including smart phone apps; practice approach based around problem-solving and solution-focused approaches; list of counselling and support services, child aware practice


This page has three sections:

  1. Background Material that provides the context for the topic

  2. A suggested Practice Approach

  3. A list of Supporting Material / References

Feedback welcome!

Background Material

University of Tasmania. (2020). Stress Management. Retrieved from https://utas.shorthandstories.com/stress/

What is stress?

Stress refers to the demands, pressures or forces applied to us and our perceived ability to cope with these demands. Stress is a normal condition and a part of everyday life.


Stress is not necessarily a bad thing. The stress response can help us keep ourselves safe, motivate us to action, help us focus and perform better. Positive management of stress can result in positive emotions such as enjoyment, satisfaction, enthusiasm and excitement.


Stress can become a problem when:

  • our stress levels are "too high”, and stress stops us from doing what we need to do

  • we feel unable to cope with the stress

  • we experience chronic stress (i.e. stress is experienced over longer periods of time)

  • the stress response is triggered in situations where it is not helpful/unnecessary

Stress is related to performance:

Calm zone

  • When stress levels are low, performance is also low.

  • The calm/low stress zone is good for "downtime" i.e. when not studying or working.

  • Too much time in this zone might result in feelings of boredom.

Eustress zone

  • When stress levels start to increase, performance increases.

  • The peak level of performance is the "optimal performance zone".

  • This is when there is enough stress/ energy to optimise motivation, concentration ability, passion and enthusiasm for the work.

Distress zone

  • The distress zone can be reached quickly (e.g. on a "bad day where everything goes wrong", if a significant stress trigger occurs) or can build up over time (e.g. gradual chronic stress building over the semester).

  • In this zone, the demands are too intense and coping ability is compromised.

  • Performance is impaired.

  • Staying too long in this zone can lead to exhaustion, ill health and burn out.

How is stress different from anxiety?

Stress is generally in response to known pressures, whereas anxiety is often anticipatory in nature and may be characterised by worry or fears about perceived threats or danger in the future. Anxiety is often triggered when stress levels are already high and this may make it difficult to separate the two, or to identify why we are anxious.


Fears and worries are not normal when they become overwhelming and interfere with our daily living and ability to cope effectively. They are termed ‘anxiety disorders’ and need professional help to manage them.


Signs and symptoms of stress

People vary in the way they experience stress so not all of the symptoms described below are relevant to everyone.

Body Increased heart rate, muscle tension, sweating, difficulty breathing, headaches, dizziness, dry mouth, nausea, diarrhoea, constipation, frequent urination, compromised immune system leading to increased colds, etc..

Thoughts Difficulty concentrating, distractibility, forgetfulness, worry, negative self-talk, sensitive to criticism, distorted ideas, rigid attitudes (unable to be flexible), blank mind.

Feeling Anxious, nervousness, frightened, moodiness, depressed sadness, apathy, fatigue, guilt and shame.

Behaviour Sleep disturbance, emotional outbursts, withdrawal, crying easily, excessive eating or appetite loss, increased smoking/drinking, procrastination/avoidance of stressors.

Many of these stress signs are due to the fight, flight or freeze response (FFF) being activated. When our mind perceives a threat or stress in the environment, it activates a chain reaction within the body to help us respond to threat.


To manage stress it is important to:

  • Recognise early stress signs

  • Try to identify the causes of the stress (what is my mind telling me?)

  • Be proactive as well as reactive (i.e. have regular self-care habits)

  • Have a toolkit of stress management strategies to use flexibly to fit a particular situation (see below for some tools to manage stress in the body, in the mind and with behaviour)

Managing Stress in the Body

We can carry stress in the body without even noticing. Regular attention and care to the body can reduce chronic stress and increase resilience in the face of challenges.

  • Exercise regularly - include higher intensity exercise to burn off those stress hormones (e.g. gym, running, sport), as well as slower-paced exercise to stretch the body out (e.g. yoga)

  • Give your body the right fuel - eat a balanced diet daily, drink water, avoid excess caffeine and alcohol

  • Use sensory soothing (e.g. have a bath/shower, punch a pillow, snuggle a soft blanket, splash cool water on the face)

  • Learn and practice breathing and relaxation techniques https://utas.shorthandstories.com/breathing-and-relaxation/index.html

Managing Stress in the Mind

Identifying thoughts is a powerful tool for stress management. If we can identify what is causing the stress, this can guide what can be a helpful way to manage and respond to the stressor.


Often stressful events are experienced as stressful because of our interpretations/beliefs. For example, some people are terrified of spiders, other people don't mind them, some people even like them. It is the same stimulus/ event, but our personal perception then controls whether our stress response is activated.


Once we have identified our stress thoughts, there are several approaches that can be useful:

Helpful Behaviours

Smartphone Apps

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Australian Counselling. (2020). 15 expert therapists share their best tips for beating stress and anxiety. Retrieved from https://www.australiacounselling.com.au/stress-anxiety-tips-expert-therapists/


1. List the Stressors

If you are feeling stressed, make a list of the things that are stressing you out. Make a decision to deal as soon as possible with at least one or two of the things on your list today. Aim to deal with all of the things if possible, within a week. Plan a reward for yourself for when you are done.

It has been said “The terror is not in the bang but in the anticipation of the bang”. For a fortnight write down all the anxious “what if” thoughts on pieces of paper that you put in an envelope named “Bang”. At the end of the fortnight check the content of the envelope and compare it with has actually happened.


2. Acceptance

When you are in a calm state make a list “WHAT TO DO WHEN I FEEL OVERWHELMED”: Keep your list simple and practical such as remember to breathe, call a friend / a help line, draw, go for a walk, or listen to your favourite music. When you are actually feeling overwhelmed refer to the list and work your way down without having to think.

Accept that life can be stressful – and that you can’t control everything. Before getting too wound up about something that has happened, take a little time to work out if it’s worth the worry. Are you giving the problem too much weight? Will this problem haunt you next week, or will you have forgotten about it by then? If it’s the latter, accept that you’re frustrated or angry with what happened, but then try to move on without the baggage.

Stop churning over events and ‘what ifs.’ Tell your mind to stop.

Change your view of stress and anxiety. Research now shows that viewing your body’s reactions to stress as normal (e.g., “my racing heart is energising me for this”) literally changes the body’s chemical and biological response to stress (such as increased oxytocin output and major arteries staying open and relaxed).

Think symptoms not source. When stress and anxiety are building, first, pay attention to what you’re experiencing. Notice your symptoms. Is it tightness in your chest? Are you agitated, on the brink of tears or an angry outburst? Is your heart pounding or your stomach churning? This way, you pay attention to the fact that your stress or ‘fight, flight or freeze’ reaction, is ignited. Observe your symptoms, and you rob your worries and problems of oxygen. You stop fanning the flames of stress and anxiety.


3. Breathing

Take 10 deep breaths slowly. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Notice where in your body you are feeling the most anxiety. Pay attention to what is happening to you physically. Once you become aware of your anxiety, try telling yourself: “It’s okay. I’m just feeling anxious right now;” or “I’m having an anxious day today;” or “It’s okay for me to be anxious.” You actually make some ‘psychological’ space for your anxious feelings to change.

One of the easiest and most useful exercise I found is the following breathing exercise: breathe in through your nose for 3 counts and breathe out through your mouth for 5. You can play with the length of the breath. The most important part is that breathing out needs to be longer and through your mouth, that will kick in the parasympathetic nervous system and help you to calm down.

Try this – breathe in for 5, hold for 5, and breathe out for 5. Do this a few times and experience the difference you feel. This technique is also good at bedtime if you are finding it hard to fall asleep.

When anxious, breathe deeply and concentrate on the breathing. Observe the difference. Now look at something around you, a chair, a picture, a person, etc, and stay in the now. Anxiety only lives in our heads about future worries.

Focus on a pattern of breathing that gradually increases your exhalation while keeping your inhalation constant. Follow the steps in the chart below.

Pausing & Playful Breathing: Pause a few seconds…to give yourself a mental, emotional and physical break. Take in a long, slow, deep breath and let out a longer, slower breath. You will soothe your nervous system. Let your breath flow like water – like waves flowing in and out. A slow, smooth, naturally settling rhythm. As you do this let your shoulders drop.

Breathe. Roll your shoulders. Smile. Just a little Mona Lisa smile. Playfully shake out any tension. Let any tension drop out through your fingers and feet. Yawn and smile. Shake out any tension that is left. Pause and notice how you are now.


4. Meditation / Visualisation

Meditation slows down mind noise. 15 minutes of daily meditation will change your life.

Visualisation: Sit or recline quietly, comfortably. Close your eyes. Imagine revisiting a favourite place that you’ve found restful and peaceful e.g., a waterfall, a beach, a rainforest, a beautiful church or temple. You may also conjure up an imaginary place e.g., floating, light as a feather, on a fluffy white cloud, over a calm azure sea. Feel the warmth of the sun, the faint breeze ruffling your hair. Smell the salt water below. Sustain this image, and the peaceful sensations it evokes, for as long as possible. Revisit this place often.

Meditation can reduce stress and the act of being fully present reduces anxiety. Meditation can be brief and simple and being present is to not get caught up in past situations or anticipate the future.

One of the most comprehensive health practices available is Yoga. It incorporates stress management techniques such as breathing, meditation, visualisation and movement.


5. Social Contact

Ring a friend, have a good laugh and see if they can help you replace your negative thoughts with positive ones.

If a personal problem is representing the stress in your life, consider sharing the problem with another person who is not emotionally involved such as a counsellor or a trusted mentor. Sometimes a problem shared is indeed a problem halved and the stress may be put into a better perspective.

Work on your friendships – maintaining social connectedness is a vital mental health strategy for all of us. It increases confidence and our sense of wellbeing and loneliness leads to worsening anxiety and stress.

Seek out some support, but support of a particular sort. Choose someone who you know is prepared to listen empathically to you talk and can take your anxiety seriously, but someone who is not going to get bogged down in your anxiety, get overwhelmed, or start telling you what to do. Anxious people often respond well to a compassionate and strong other, finding that they ‘borrow’ their calmness.


6. Stay Active

Go for a walk, see a movie, ring a friend, do a yoga class – just do something to condition your mind not to worry and churn.

Walking can alleviate the symptoms of depression and anxiety, can improve quality of life and some studies have even shown walking reduces the costs associated with treating anxiety and depression. For mindfulness, walking provides an opportunity to engage in the environment and potentially with other people.

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World Health Organisation. (2020). Doing what matters in times of stress: An illustrated guide. Geneva: World Health Organisation. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240003927

When they are stressed many people

  • cannot focus

  • get angry easily

  • cannot sit still

  • have difficulty sleeping

  • feel sad or guilty

  • worry

  • cry

  • feel very tired

  • have changes in appetite

  • think about a lot of bad things from the past or bad things we fear in the future

These powerful thoughts and feelings are a natural part of stress. But problems can occur if we get “hooked” by them and, as a result, get pulled away from our values, i.e. from acting as the type of person we want to be. There are many kinds of difficult thoughts and feelings that can hook us.

  • Thoughts about giving up

  • Thoughts that blame others

  • Harsh judgements about ourselves

  • Memories, especially about difficult events

  • Thoughts about the future, especially about what we fear

  • Thoughts where we worry about others

When we get hooked, our behaviour changes. We often start doing things that make our lives worse. We call these behaviours “AWAY MOVES” because when we act this way, we are moving AWAY from our values.

  • We might get into fights, arguments or disagreements

  • Or we might withdraw and stay away from people we love

  • Or we might spend a lot of time lying in bed.

So what can we do?

First, learn how to focus, engage and pay attention better, i.e. practise grounding through breathing and refocusing. Then you will find your relationships with others more satisfying. You will be able to do important things much better.


But sometimes, when feelings and stories are overpowering, they turn into emotional storms where you experience intensely difficult thoughts and feelings. When an emotional storm appears, we must learn to ground ourselves. How do we ground ourselves? Through slowing breathing and refocusing.

  1. Notice how you are feeling and what you are thinking

  2. SLOW DOWN and CONNECT with your body. Slow your breathing. Empty your lungs completely. Then let them refill as slowly as possible. Slowly press your feet into the floor. Slowly stretch your arms, or slowly press your hands together.

  3. REFOCUS on the world around you. Notice where you are. What are five things you can see? Breathe the air. What can you smell? What are three or four things you can hear? Notice where you are and what you are doing. Touch your knees, or the surface beneath you, or any object you can reach. Notice what it feels like under your fingers. Notice there are difficult thoughts and feelings appearing and there is also a world around you that you can see and hear and touch and taste and smell. And you can also move your arms and legs and mouth, so if you want to, you can act in line with your values.

Grounding does not make your emotional storms disappear. It just keeps you safe, until the storm passes. Some storms last a long time. Others pass quickly. The purpose of the unhooking and grounding exercises is to help you ”engage” in life. For example, to help you give your full attention to family and friends. It is also to help you move towards your values; to help you behave more like the kind of person you want to be. And to help you focus on what you are doing, so you can do it well. When you pay attention and engage fully in any activity you may also find it more satisfying. This is true even with activities that are boring or frustrating. But, like any new skill, grounding requires practice.


Second, learn how to unhook ourselves from difficult thoughts and feelings. To get rid of difficult thoughts and feelings most people try at least some of these strategies: yelling, trying not to think about it, avoiding people, places or situations, staying in bed, isolation yourself, giving up, alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, starting arguments, blaming or criticizing oneself. These methods do not work for long and pull away from our values.


So instead of trying to push thoughts and feelings away, you stop struggling with them and when you get hooked by them, you unhook yourself again. Before you unhook, identify the thoughts that are hooking you, e.g. bad things that happened in the past, not being good enough, or bad things that might happen in the future. Mark where in your body you are experiencing these feelings.


Steps in unhooking:

  1. Notice that a thought has hooked you

  2. Name it, using the phrase “I notice…”, e.g. say something like “I notice there is tightness in my chest”, “I notice here is a painful memory”, “I notice here are fears about the future”, “I notice here is anger”. Noticing works because thoughts and feelings hook us when we are unaware of them.

  3. Refocus on what you are doing; engage fully with that activity; pay full attention to it. Engage with life by noticing what we can see, smell, taste, touch and hear.

Thirdly, consider whether your actions support your values. That is, act on your values.

  1. Select three or four values that seem most important to you.

  2. Think of a role model. What values does that person demonstrate through his or her actions? Which of those values would you like to model to others? What values do you want to live by?

  3. Put your values into action. Pick an important relationship and think about the values you want to live by in this relationship. Remember the tiniest actions matter. When you act on your values, you will begin to create a more satisfying and fulfilling life.

So, when you are stressed

  1. Change what can be changed: use your arms and legs and hands and feet and mouth to take action to improve the situation.

  2. Accept the pain that cannot be changed by unhooking and grounding

  3. Live you your values

Fourthly, as well as using unhooking to stop struggling with our thoughts and feelings, we can make room for the “bad weather’ of our difficult thoughts and feelings without being hurt by them.

  1. Focus on a difficult thought or feeling

  2. Notice and name these thoughts/feelings (it often helps to imagine a painful feeling as an object with a size and shape and colour; imagine a difficult thought as words or pictures on the pages of a book)

  3. Observe these thoughts/feelings with curiosity

  4. As you do this, breathe out slowly. Then, once your lungs are empty, pause for a count of three. Then breathe in slowly and imagine your breath flows into and around your pain. Open up and make room for the painful feeling or difficult thought. Allow it to be there.

  5. Engage with the world around you as you carry the thought or feeling with you (e.g. carry the book under your arm)

  6. Notice where you are, who is with you, and give your full attention to the activity you are doing

Practice Approach

What do Experts Say?

As part of the practice approach in this area the social worker should be aware of the solutions that experts in the area recommend. Many of these are mentioned in the background material above. Examples include:

Breathing. One of the easiest and most useful exercises is breathing: breathe in through your nose for 3 counts and breathe out through your mouth for 5. You can play with the length of the breath. The most important part is that breathing out needs to be longer and through your mouth, that will kick in the parasympathetic nervous system and help you to calm down. Then focus on something around you, a chair, a picture, a person, etc., and stay in the now.


Focus. Focus on your good qualities and accomplishments, what you can control. Avoid passive worrying, and self-criticism.


Practise Grounding - slowly breathe and refocus.

a) Slow down and connect with your body. Slow your breathing. Empty your lungs completely. Then let them refill as slowly as possible. Slowly press your feet into the floor. Slowly stretch your arms, or slowly press your hands together.

b) Notice the thought/situation that is causing stress. Use the phrase “I notice …”, e.g. ““I notice here is a painful memory”, “I notice here is anger”.

c) Refocus on the world around you. Notice where you are. What are five things you can see? Breathe the air. What can you smell? What are three or four things you can hear? Touch your knees, or the surface beneath you, or any object you can reach. Notice what it feels like under your fingers.


Become Aware and Make a List. If you are feeling stressed, make a list of the things that are stressing you out and why it is causing stress. Make a decision to deal as soon as possible with at least one or two of the things on your list today. Aim to deal with all of the things if possible, within a week. Plan a reward for yourself for when you are done.


Meditation / Visualisation / Relaxation. Sit or recline quietly, comfortably. Close your eyes. Imagine revisiting a favourite place that you’ve found restful and peaceful e.g., a waterfall, a beach, a rainforest, a beautiful church or temple. You may also conjure up an imaginary place e.g., floating, light as a feather, on a fluffy white cloud, over a calm azure sea. Feel the warmth of the sun, the faint breeze ruffling your hair. Smell the salt water below. Sustain this image, and the peaceful sensations it evokes, for as long as possible. Revisit this place often.


Social Support. Ring a friend and talk about something else or seek out support from a friend who will not start telling you what to do but will just listen and talk the problem through with you.


Exercise regularly. Include higher intensity exercise to burn off those stress hormones (e.g., gym, running, sport), as well as slower-paced exercise (e.g., walking, yoga)


Give your body the right fuel. Eat a balanced diet daily, drink water, avoid excess caffeine and alcohol.


Keep in Mind

There are some things to keep in mind when supporting a person who is experiencing stress.

  1. Stress is not necessarily a bad thing. The stress response can help us keep ourselves safe, motivate us to action, help us focus and perform better.

  2. Stress can become a problem when:

  • our stress levels are "too high”, and stress stops us from doing what we need to do

  • we feel unable to cope with the stress

  • we experience chronic stress (i.e. stress is experienced over longer periods of time)

  • the stress response is triggered in situations where it is not helpful/unnecessary

3. Stress is generally in response to known pressures, whereas anxiety is often anticipatory in nature and may be characterised by worry or fears about perceived threats or danger in the future. If these become overwhelming, the person may be experiencing an anxiety disorder or depression. Supporting the person to obtain professional help may be the best course of action. Alternatively, the practice approach for depression may be useful.


One Practice Approach

Complete a psychosocial assessment, either at the start of or interspersed at appropriate times within the conversation, to touch upon family & significant relationships, living arrangements, education, employment, diet, leisure, exercise.


Discuss the issue(s) causing stress and how the person reacts.


Categorise these into

  • Physical, e.g. increased heart rate, muscle tension, sweating, difficulty breathing, headaches, dizziness, dry mouth, nausea, diarrhoea, constipation, frequent urination, compromised immune system leading to increased colds

  • Thoughts and feelings, e.g. difficulty concentrating, distractibility, forgetfulness, worry, negative self-talk, sensitive to criticism, distorted ideas, rigid attitudes (unable to be flexible), blank mind

  • Behavioural, e.g. sleep disturbance, emotional outbursts, withdrawal, crying easily, excessive eating or appetite loss, increased smoking/drinking, procrastination/avoidance of stressors

A solution-focused approach could be useful.

Identify goals. “Suppose your meeting with me today is helpful. What will be the first sign to you that things are different?”


Take one of the examples. Ask the person to describe a time when he or she has managed or partially managed the issue, or a time when the issue is absent. “What was the situation? What did you do? Why did you manage it this time?” If the person has difficulty with this or is unable to shift into a solution-building approach, ask how they manage their day. “Given everything you have told me about what’s going on in your life, how do just make it through each day?”

The problem-solving approach may also be relevant.

  1. Identify the Problem

  2. Break it down into smaller steps and decide what you need to action first

  3. Brainstorm and write down as many ideas as you can that might help solve the problem, no matter how silly they seem - don't dismiss any possible solutions.

  4. Consider the pros and cons of each possible solution.

  5. Choose one of the possible solutions that looks likely to work, based on the advantages and disadvantages

  6. Plan out step-by-step what you need to do to carry out this solution. What? When? How? With whom or what? What could cause problems? How can you get around those problems? Is this realistic and achievable?

  7. Do it! Carry out the plan

  8. Review how it went. Was it helpful? Did you achieve what you set out to achieve? If not, how could you have done it differently? Did you achieve any progress, however small, towards your goal? What have you learned?

  9. If you achieved your goal - consider tackling the next step of your original problem. If you didn't fully achieve your goal - make adjustments to your chosen solution or return to steps 3 and 4 and choose another possible solution.

At some point it will be appropriate to introduce some of the strategies (listed at the start of this section and in the background material section above) that people use to manage stress and to choose those that appeal to the person. Discussing these approaches may also enable the social worker to learn more about the person that may guide the development of a helpful response, e.g. recognising early stress signs, being proactive through using self-care habits (exercise, sleep routines, time management techniques, relaxing).


As the session concludes with the person undertaking to practise what has been discussed, it may be helpful to mention other resources the person may find helpful drawn from the background material. The links to free counselling and support services in the Supporting Material below may be relevant.


Child Aware Practice


Parents with mental health, addiction, homelessness and family violence issues can cause major difficulties for children. These can have life-long consequences, e.g. suicide, eating disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, high-risk sexual behaviour, violence and criminal offending, homelessness and abuse and neglect of one’s own children.


Therefore, it is important that those supporting adults also assess the impact of adults’ issues on children and take steps to support adults in their parenting role.


This is what Child Aware Practice is about. You will find this topic covered in more detail on the website at https://www.thesocialworkgraduate.com/post/child-aware-practice


Supporting Material

(available on request)

Australian Counselling. (2020). 15 expert therapists share their best tips for beating stress and anxiety. Retrieved from https://www.australiacounselling.com.au/stress-anxiety-tips-expert-therapists/


University of Tasmania. (2020). Stress Management. Retrieved from https://utas.shorthandstories.com/stress/


World Health Organisation. (2020). Doing what matters in times of stress: An illustrated guide. Geneva: World Health Organisation. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240003927

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Free Counselling and Support Services (University of Tasmania, 2020)

If strategies aren't helping and you are still experiencing high levels of stress, it can be helpful to talk it through with a professional. Below are some free counselling and support services available to you.


General Mental Health

  • Headspace provides mental health and wellbeing support for people under 25 and their families, including information, support, and health services. Call 1800 650 890, 9am-1am AEST / 7 days a week.

  • Lifeline provides 24-hour crisis counselling and suicide prevention services. Call 13 11 14.

  • MensLine Australia is a professional telephone and online support and information service for Australian men. Call 1300 78 99 78, 24 hours / 7 days a week.

  • SANE Australia provides support, training and education enabling those with a mental illness to lead a better life. Call 1800 18 7263, 10am-10pm AEST (Mon-Fri).

Stress, Anxiety and Depression

  • Beyondblue aims to increase awareness of depression and anxiety and reduce stigma. Beyond Blue also offers online and phone support. Call 1300 22 4636, 24 hours / 7 days a week.

  • Black Dog Institute offers information and support for stress, anxiety and depression, including an online clinic and online self-help program.

  • 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 and can help you find local services. Call 1800 61 44 34, 8am-8pm (Mon-Fri), 8am-6pm (Sat).

  • Moodgym is an online self-help program and app aimed to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Family and Relationships

  • 1800Respect offers confidential counselling, information and support for people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse. The website includes an online chat service. Phone 1800 737 732 24 hours / 7 days a week.

  • Family Violence Counselling & Support Service Tasmania provides information, counselling and support for children, young people and adults affected by family violence in Tasmania. Call 1800 608 122.

  • MensLine Australia is a professional telephone and online support and information service for Australian men. Call 1300 78 99 78, 24 hours / 7 days a week.

  • Parentline is a phone counselling service to assist parents of children aged 0-5 years, with stressful parenting issues or concerns. Phone 1300 808 178.

  • Relationships Australia offers services around the country that include counselling, family dispute resolution (mediation) and a range of family and community support and education programs.

Eating and Body Image

  • Butterfly Foundation, provides information, counselling and treatment referral for people with eating disorders, and body image and related issues. Call 1800 33 4673, 8am-midnight.

LGBTIQA+

  • QLife provides nationwide telephone and web-based services to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people of all ages. Call 1800 184 527, 3pm-12am (midnight) AEST / 7 days a week.

  • Working It Out is Tasmania’s gender, sexuality and intersex status support and education service including individual and group support.

Suicide and Risk

Alcohol and Drug Use

  • Counselling Online offer free drug and alcohol counselling via phone, email or online chat. They also provide information and can link you in with services in your area.

Supporting Someone Else

  • R U Ok? provides guidance for how to have conversations with someone you are concerned about.

  • Carer Gateway connects you with a new Australia-wide network of Carer Gateway service providers. They will talk through what you need and help you to find local services and support to help you. Call 1800 422 737 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

Further Guidance and Assistance Australia-Wide

  • Head to Health can help you find digital mental health services from some of Australia’s most trusted mental health organisations. Provided by the Australian Department of Health, Head to Health brings together apps, online programs, online forums, and phone services, as well as a range of digital information resources.

  • For medical advice 24/7 you can call the free, government-funded national medical helpline on 1800 022 222.