Mental Health & Wellbeing

 

The following is a collection of resources that might be useful when considering your own mental health and wellbeing, or that of those around you. We’ve included a range of support services available on campus, off campus, online, and over the telephone, detailed below. If you have any questions or comments about the services and resources listed, please contact the Equity Officer at equity@suls.org.au.

 

On Campus Resources and Services

A.     The University of Sydney Counselling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

The University of Sydney offers support to students through its Counselling and Psychological Services (CAPS). CAPS aims to help students build strengths, improve wellbeing and achieve academic success. Their counselling services are free and confidential, and available to all currently enrolled undergraduate and postgraduate students of the University.

CAPS also offers workshops on issues commonly faced by students, such as procrastination and exam anxiety. A full list of workshops can be found here.

The CAPS website is a good starting point to learn more about these services and others including:

  • Self-help resources: downloadable ebooks, recommended books and websites

  • Interactive online resources: eTherapy, guided exercises and a CAPS mobile app

  • Location: Level 5 of the Jane Foss Russell Building G02, City Road (beside the Wentworth Building), Camperdown Campus
  • Opening Hours: 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday
  • Telephone: (02) 8627 8433 or 8627 8436
  • Email: caps.admin@sydney.edu.au

B.    University of Sydney Union (USU) Spaces

Obviously your health and wellbeing isn’t tied to your law degree. These spaces can be very useful in finding and providing informal support networks, or simply being a safe space to catch your breath.

Queer Space

  • Location: Holme Building, Basement (follow the signs downward once you enter the building)
  • What? An autonomous space  for queer students on campus. The Queer Action Collective (QUAC) holds weekly meetings there. Being collective-run, any member can bring up topics for discussion.

Women’s Room

  • Location: Manning House, Level 1
  • What? An autonomous space for women on campus, the room offers an area for women to use for quiet study, breastfeeding, meetings and women’s events.

C.    The SULS Executive

All members of the SULS Executive are available to help you through any issues you might face at Sydney Law School. The following portfolios are particularly relevant here:

i) Equity

The SULS Equity Portfolio aims to promote equal opportunity, equal access and equal representation at Sydney Law School. The Equity Officer is responsible for overseeing the Equity Textbook Loan Scheme and the Equity Financial Grants Scheme. The Equity Officer is also able to provide up-to-date information about student welfare and support services, to assist students in meeting their academic and personal goals while at university. If you’re feeling stressed, concerned about a friend or just want to have a chat, please email equity@suls.org.au or swing by the SULS Office.

ii) Queer

The SULS Queer Officer supports and advocates on behalf of all queer-identifying (LGBTI) students in the Sydney Law School. In addition, the portfolio exists to engage the broader Law School community on current issues, as well as the opportunities, that gender and sexually diverse law students face – both in the law school and in broader society. Be it pressures or questions about coming out, identity, mental health, discrimination, career progression, or you just want to speak to someone who’s been through it all before, please don’t hesitate to contact the 2013 Queer Officer, Matthew Yeldham, at queer@suls.org.au, or swing by the SULS Office. You can also submit a query to the Queer Officer using this form, if you have any questions or concerns about anything LGBTI-related. Your query can be anonymous if you so please.

iii) Women

The SULS Women’s Officer’s role is to promote gender equality, and support all the women in the Law School. Despite equal numbers of men and women enrolled in university degrees, sexism is unfortunately still alive and well. If you are every feeling sexually harassed or if anything has made you feel uncomfortable then please contact the Women’s Officer at women@suls.org.au. In the wider context of the legal profession, women are also still facing an uphill battle of economic equality and equal representation in positions of power. Despite equal graduation rates, women still make up less than a quarter of partners and less than a fifth of barristers in NSW. These tap into broader and more complex social issues and lingering traces of the ‘boy’s club’ mentality. SULS has a variety of programs to foster women in the legal profession, and if you are having concerns about any gender issues in your working life (maybe a paralegal job, or thinking about clerkships etc) then please get in touch with our Women’s Officer.

iv) International

The SULS International Officer is here for international students who require academic, personal and social assistance. Additionally, the International Officer is also responsible for providing administrative information and other services to the international student body.  This is a useful contact point for students to liaise with the law faculty regarding any issues they may be experiencing. If there you are experiencing any difficulties as an international student please contact the International Officer at international@suls.org.au. Please feel free to come by the SULS office at anytime with any questions.

E.     Mental Health Awareness and Support Society (MAHSoc)

MAHSoc is a newly formed society on campus that wants to create a community that understands and offers social support for those times that you’re just not feeling that great. MAHSoc would also like to promote awareness of mental health issues on campus. Watch this space for events throughout the year, join their Facebook group, or contact the society at mahsoc.sydney@gmail.com!

Off Campus Resources and Services

A.    headspace

headspace is the National Youth Mental Health Foundation. If you’re aged 12 – 25, you can get health advice, support and information from headspace. headspace has centres across Australia.

The closest headspace centre to campus is the Central Sydney headspace.

  • Location: Level 2, 97 Church Street Camperdown
  • What? The Central Sydney headspace centre offers support and information for young people who have general health, mental health, alcohol and other drug worries. They have social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses, GP’s and occupational therapists who can help with a variety of things.
  • Opening Hours: 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday
  • Telephone: (02) 9114 4100
  • Email: headspace.centralsydney@sydney.edu.au

 

B.    Camperdown and Redfern Community Health

The Camperdown and Redfern Community Health team provides crisis and case management services for adults experiencing a range of mental health problems, such as depression, mood disorders and severe anxiety. They provide information about mental health problems, individual treatment to assist recovery and can introduce other services that may be able to help.

  • Location: Camperdown Community Health Centre, Level 5 (Street Level), KGV Building, Missenden Road, Camperdown
  • Telephone: (02) 9515 9000
  • Opening hours: 8.30am – 5pm, Monday – Friday
  • Location: Redfern Community Health Centre, 103 – 105 Redfern Street Redfern
  • Telephone: (02) 9395 0444
  • Opening hours: 8.30am – 5pm, Monday – Friday

The after hours telephone number for both services is (02) 9767 5000.

C.    Therapeutic Axis

The Therapeutic Axis Centre for Wellbeing is located in Glebe and has bulk billing psychologists, alongside massage and natural therapists.  If you receive a mental health care plan from your GP your first six sessions are free.Therapeutic Axis can also provide online counselling.

  • Location: 125 St Johns Road Glebe
  • Telephone: (02) 9692 9788
  • Email: enquiries@therapeuticaxis.com.au

D.     The Gender Centre

The Gender Centre offers a wide range of services to people with gender issues, their partners, family and friends. It provides counselling, a residential program, exit-house program and an advocacy service. It is committed to enhancing the ability of people with gender issues to make informed choices.

  •      Location: 7 Bent Street Petersham NSW
  •      Telephone: (02) 9569 2366
  •      Email: reception@gendercentre.org.au

E.     Imanadari Counselling

Imanadari Counselling provides diversity positive counselling, acknowledging that human diversity is a positive and essential part of wellbeing. They can help with issues including anxiety, panic, depression and stress.

  •      Location: Broadway, Glebe
  •      Telephone: 0448 006 961
  •      Email: imanadari@gmail.com

 

Other Online Resources

A.    beyondblue

beyondblue is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to move the focus on depression away from a mental health service issue and towards one which is understood, acknowledged and addressed by the wider community. Over the past decade, the organisation has established itself as a strong force in shaping public policy and building new mental health programs.

The beyondblue website provides specific resources for:

Visit the website for excellent fact sheets, call 1300 02 4636 at any time of the day for immediate support, or you canchat online to a professional.

B.     eheadspace

eheadspace, a headspace initiative,  is a confidential, free and secure space where young people, their family or friends can chat online, email or speak on the phone with a qualified youth mental health professional.

  • Telephone: 1800 650 890

C.     The Black Dog Institute

The Black Dog Institute is a world leader in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder. While everyone experiences varying degrees of stress in life, it can certainly  be tough know at which point this transforms into depression, anxiety or another mental health issue. The Black Dog Institute’s ‘self-testing’ fact sheets can be helpful here. They also have clinics, but their healthcare professionals require a referral from a patient’s managing doctor.

  •      Location: Hospital Road, Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick
  •      Telephone: (02) 9382 4530
  •      Email: blackdog@blackdog.org.au

D.     The Australian Law Students Association (ALSA) Depression Handbook and ‘Defending Your Sanity’ Publication

The ALSA Depression Handbook was produced in conjunction with beyondblue and other partners. The Handbook addresses the startlingly high rates of depression within the legal profession and within law schools themselves. It provides a good range of tips for students experiencing depression, and friends of those experiencing depression.

‘Defending Your Sanity’ was produced in 2012 and is a readable and sensible guide to maintaining mental health through the stresses and travails of a law degree, and into life beyond.

E. NSW Young Lawyers Mental Health and Wellbeing Website

NSW Young Lawyers is part of the Law Society of NSW, and is the largest body of young and newly practising lawyers, and law students. Their Mental Health and Wellbeing website is dedicated to helping law students, solicitors and barristers if they are experiencing mental health issues or wish to improve their general wellbeing. Check out their page for an excellent range of resources, including tips for prevention, detection and observation.

F. The Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation

The Foundation’s objective is to decrease distress, disability and the cause of depression and anxiety in the legal profession. The Foundation runs excellent events and lectures that aim to increase awareness. The website contains links to excellent videos and publications, as well as links to the excellent Wellness Network for Law.

G.     Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)

PFLAG is a not-for-profit voluntary organisation that provides help, support and information to families and friends of all gay people. PFLAG is committed to advancing equality through its mission of support, education and advocacy.  Founded in 1972 in the US, there are now numerous chapters of the organisation throughout NSW.

H. The Butterfly Foundation for Eating Disorders

The Butterfly Foundation is dedicated to bringing about change to the culture, policy and practice in the prevention, treatment and support of those affected by eating disorders and negative body image. The Foundation provides support for Australians who suffer from eating disorders and negative body image issues and their carers. The website contains excellent fact sheets and links to resources. They also provide free web counselling and a concession rate for face to face counselling.

I. Crisis Support Chat

Crisis Support Chat, a Lifeline initiative, provides a short-term support service online for people who are overwhelmed and having difficulty coping or staying safe. The service is available 8pm – midnight, 7 days a week.

Helplines/Useful Telephone Numbers

  • Kids Helpline:                                                                                 1800 551 800
  • Lifeline:                                                                                             131 114
  • NSW Mental Health Line:                                                           1800 011 511
  • beyondblue Helpline:                                                                    1300 22 4636
  • Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service of NSW:                     (02) 8594 9596 (5.30pm – 10.30pm, daily)
  • National Sexual Assault, Domestic & Family Violence:     1800 737 732
  • MYLINE:                                                                                          1800 695 463
  • Sexual Health Information Line:                                              1800 451 624
  • Domestic Violence Line:                                                              1800 656 463

For the Translating and Interpreting Service, please call 13 14 50. If you are deaf or have a hearing impairment, you can call the National Relay Service on 13 36 77.