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June 23, 2024

Free mental health support for Northern Rivers communities 

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Northern Rivers residents are being reminded that free mental health support is only a phone call or web chat away, with in-person counseling also available.

Healthy North Coast Chief Executive, Monika Wheeler, said that these next few weeks could be particularly challenging for Northern Rivers residents and urged locals to prioritise their mental health.

‘Looking out for each other is what has got our community through the past 12 months. There are many things about our current situation that we cannot change, but we can all take steps to look after our heads and hearts,’ she said.

‘If you or someone you know is struggling or could simply benefit from a friendly and supportive chat, I urge you to reach out.

‘Healthy North Coast offers a range of free and after-hours services to support mental health and wellbeing for all ages, with a number of them made available through Australian Government and NSW Government flood recovery.

‘There’s no shame in saying you’re feeling overwhelmed or just want to talk things through. I encourage all community members, including our hardworking primary care professionals, to prioritise their mental health care over the coming weeks,’ Ms Wheeler said.

Head to Health

Head to Health offers free mental health support over the phone or in person at the Lismore Head to Health hub. Head to Health is a welcoming entry point for engagement, assessment and treatment for people seeking mental health advice and support.

Call 1800 595 212 weekdays from 8.30am to 5pm to chat to a team member who can connect you with support or visit https://hnc.org.au/head-to-health-helpline.

The Lismore Head to Hub is open Monday-Friday 10am to 8pm and Saturday and Sunday 12 noon to 8pm. It is located at the Lismore Health Precinct, Southern Cross University Health Clinic, P Block North, Rifle Range Road, East Lismore. Drop-ins are encouraged and you don’t need a referral or appointment.

Safe Haven Community and wellbeing hubs

Located in Woodburn, Lismore, Mullumbimby and Murwillumbah, Safe Haven hubs are open to anyone seeking free mental health support, including their family, friends and carers.

Safe Haven hubs are open 12 — 6pm every day. Drop-ins are encouraged and you don’t need a referral or appointment. Visit the Safe Haven website to learn more.


headspace centres offer mental health support and advice for young people aged 12 to 25. All services are free or low cost. Headspace centres are located at the Lismore Health Precinct at South Cross University, Tweed and Grafton, and are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. You don’t need a referral or appointment.

Alternatively, headspace can also support young people online or by phoneseven days a week between 9am – 1am.

Strong Community Program

The Strong Community Program provides free specialist mental health support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Northern Rivers, age 12 years and over. Mental health and wellbeing supports include in-person counselling, mental health promotion in schools and outreach to communities in Cabbage Tree Island, Wardell, Ballina, Box Ridge, Woodburn, Lismore and neighbouring areas.

For in-person support, visit 133 Ballina Rd, East Lismore. Contact Strong Community by email on [email protected] or call 0456447790 or 1300 727 957.

GP Telehealth

If you can’t access your regular GP, Healthy North Coast offers a 24-hour free GP telehealth service across the Northern Rivers. Through a phone or video consult, you can access health advice, diagnosis and treatment, as well as electronic prescriptions, medical certificates and specialist referrals. To book a GP telehealth consult, call 1800 931 158.

If you need immediate support:

In an emergency, call 000 or go to your nearest hospital emergency department.

Support The Echo

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