Sometimes it might feel like you have to step up and be the responsible one, and you might also be caring for younger siblings. Looking out for your family is important, but so is being looked after yourself.
Feeling alone and stressed can make it hard to decide what to do, so it is important to ask for help.
If you feel comfortable talking to another family member or an adult friend (this should be someone you feel you can trust) then consider asking them for help. Also, there are free counselling services you can contact via calling or online that can support you. Services like the ones listed below can help you with talking through your problems and making a plan for what to do. They are professionals who understand what you are going through, they are there to listen, provide you with advice and can refer you to other services if you need. You don’t even have to tell them your name if you don’t want to, they are there to help you look after yourself.
A free and confidential 24 hours, 7 days a week telephone and online counselling service for kids and young people aged up to 25 years. Its confidential and you can chat with a counsellor online via
kidshelpline.com.au or call 1800 55 1800.
Alcohol Drug Information Service (ADIS)
A free and confidential 24 hours, 7 days a week telephone counselling service. ADIS provide support, information, counselling and referral to alcohol and other drug services in NSW. Call 1800 250 015
anytime or start a
Web Chat (Monday to Friday 8.30am – 5pm including public holidays).
Family Drug Support (FDS)
A 24 hours, 7 days a week information, help and referral service especially for families. FDS also hold self-help groups for family members of people who use drugs across NSW. Call 1300 368 186
or visit fds.org.au for more details.
A service dedicated to young people aged between 12-25 who need information relating to general mental health, physical health, work and study and alcohol and other drugs. Headspace provides in person support via their
headspace centres, support online via
eheadspace and telephone support on 1800 650 890. For further details visit
A free, confidential, online text-based counselling service for people concerned about a family member, relative or friend, or about their own drinking or drug use. Trained counsellors are available 24 hours, 7 days a week. Go to
counsellingonline.org.au to start a session.
An online mental health organisation for young people and their parents. The site includes articles and online discussions on topics like how to deal with tough times, relationships, identity and gender, bullying and other issues. Visit
au.reachout.com for further details.
Children of Parents with a Mental Illness (COPMI)
COPMI provide information online for young people whose parents may have a mental illness. On the site you can access advice from other young people, information on the different types of mental illness and where to get support. Visit
copmi.net.au for further details.
Al-Anon family groups – Alateen
Alateen is an association of young members, usually teenagers, whose lives have been affected by someone else's alcohol drinking. Alateen groups meet all over Australia, coming together to talk about their experiences, ways to cope with problems and support one another. Learn more about Alateen, including where to find your local meeting at