Where to go for local support over the Christmas period

22 December 2020

If you need additional help or support this Christmas, you are not alone. Local support services are available over the Christmas and New Year period. COORDINARE and the Illawarra Shoalhaven Suicide Prevention Collaborative have provided a list of key services.

Supports and services
For who / where?
How to access?


Lifeline services will be continuing 24 / 7 over the Christmas and New Year period. Phone, text, and chat support is available.

  • Crisis Line: 13 11 14
  • Bushfire Support Line: 13 HELP (13 4357)
  • Text: 0477 13 11 14 (midday to midnight)
  • Crisis chat (7pm – midnight)

Anyone in South Eastern NSW (and Australia)

Call 13 11 14 for 24 / 7 crisis support.

For more information, please visit: lifelinesouthcoast.org.au

Bushfire Support Counselling

CatholicCare's Bushfire Support Counselling service is available for support.

Individuals and families impacted by bushfires in South Eastern NSW

Call 1800 068 698 to make an appointment or find out more here.

Directions Health Service

Directions Health Service's Pathways programs in Moruya, Goulburn and Cooma, as well as Sapphire Health and Wellbeing Service (SHaWS) in the Bega Valley, will be accessible via phone crisis support and online groups.

The Pathways treatment and support services offer people impacted by drug or alcohol-related issues a range of non-judgemental, holistic, harm minimisation-based services.

Anyone in Southern NSW


Call (02) 6132 4800 or for more information, please go to: 

Rural Outreach Mental Health Service (ROMHS)

Complex mental health telehealth services provided by ROHMS are available at certain times during the Christmas and New Year period:

  • Thursday 24 December; Christmas Eve (closing 2:30pm)

  • Tuesday 29 and Wednesday 30 December during regular hours

  • Thursday 31 December (closing 4pm)

  • Monday 4 January onwards during regular hours

People aged 16+ in the Shoalhaven and Southern NSW with complex mental health issues

Call (02) 4421 7525 or for more information, please go to: romhs.com.au/southern-shoalhaven

Please note that ROHMS is closed on weekends.

Shelter Group Wollongong

Shelter Group is a support group open to anyone 18+ who has struggled or is struggling with suicidal thoughts, feelings or actions. People are welcome to speak openly about their experiences in a safe and supportive group environment. The group is facilitated by people who have been suicidal and have found recovery.  

Anyone aged 18+ in the Illawarra

Group meets fortnightly on Thursdays via Zoom, 67:30pm.

Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/862 6423 2671

For meeting dates, please visit the Collaborative’s calendar.  

Waminda’s Strong Yawa

Strong Yawa is an after-hours phone support line for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples which is continuing as normal after 5pm, Monday to Friday and at anytime on weekends during the Christmas / New Year period. Click here for more information.

Within business hours, Waminda can be contacted on the following phone lines: ‪

  • (02) 44 217 400
  • Free call: 1800 997 330

Aboriginal peoples in the Illawarra Shoalhaven

Strong Yawa phone support line is available after 5pm, Monday to Friday and at anytime over the week. Call Strong Yawa on 1800 953 763.

Please note that Waminda will be closed from 4:30pm Friday 18 December 2020 until 9am Monday 4 January 2021.


1. NewAccess

Developed by Beyond Blue and delivered by Wellways, NewsAccess is a free mental health coaching program for anyone who feels stressed, anxious or overwhelmed about everyday life challenges, such as work, study, relationships, health, and loneliness.

Phone, video call or face-to-face sessions are available for free, with six sessions and no doctor's referral or mental health care plan needed.

People aged 16+ in South Eastern NSW

For more information, please visit: wellways.org/our-services/newaccess

Email: senswnewaccess@wellways.org

Phone: (02) 62 467 120

2. Consumer Directed Service

Wellways provides a range of services funded under different programs, including the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Lifetime Care, and iCare Supports.

Available across South Eastern NSW

 Email: CDSSNSW@wellways.org

3. Community Living Support Service

Funded through the Ministry of Health, this support service offers up to 12 months of psychosocial support for people with high support needs.

Available across the Illawarra Shoalhaven 

Email: referrals.cls.islhd@wellways.org

Phone: (02) 91 015 900

Do you need immediate help?

The following helplines are available 24 / 7 over the holiday season:

Other services available at specific times:

BEING's Peer Support Specialists are available to take your calls and to listen with empathy and without judgement. The BEING Supported line will continue to open 7 days per week from 10am–4pm and 6pm–10pm. Call 1800 151 151 or visit beingsupported.org.au.

If you have experienced childhood trauma, you can speak with a Blue Knot Helpline trauma counsellor. Call 1300 657 380 7 days a week between 9am and 5pm.

For support regarding the Disability Royal Commission or general disability support, contact Blue Knot Foundation's National Counselling & Referral Service on 1800 421 468, Monday to Friday between 9am and 6pm, and between 9am and 5pm on weekends and public holidays.

Qlife peer support is available for the LGBTIQ+ community via phone or webchat from 3pm to midnight, every day. Call 1800 184 527 or click here for webchat.

If someone is injured or at immediate risk of hurting themselves or someone else, call 000 immediately.

Community, Illawarra Shoalhaven, Mental health, Southern NSW, Suicide prevention,