Where to go for local support over the holiday season

20 December 2021

If you need additional help or support this holiday season, you are not alone. Local support services are available over the Christmas and New Year period. You can find a list of key services below:

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 across South Eastern NSW (and Australia).

Call 13 11 14 for 24 / 7 crisis support.

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

Head to Health

Head to Health has been developed to support the mental health of people, of all ages, who may be struggling because of the current pandemic. If you’re not feeling OK, 1800 595 212 can help direct you to the appropriate support networks. 

Please note* Head to Health services will be closed on public holidays.

Anyone across South Eastern NSW.

To contact the Head to Health Initial Assessment and Referral service call: 

1800 595 212

Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm - excluding public holidays.

NSW Mental Health line

If you or someone you know needs help, the Mental Health Line offers:

  • professional help and advice
  • referrals to local mental health services.

It is staffed by mental health professionals who can put you in contact with the most relevant mental health service for children, teens, adults and older people.

Anyone across South Eastern NSW (and Australia). The Mental Health Line is available to everyone in NSW and operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 1800 011 511.

Wollongong Safe Haven

Wollongong Safe Haven is a local service staffed by trained peer workers to support people experiencing suicidal distress.

The service is a non-clinical alternative to the emergency department and offers a variety of support options.

Anyone in the Illawarra Shoalhaven experiencing suicidal distress.

Find the walk-in service at 55 Uranga Parade, Wollongong, Wednesday to Saturday 2 - 10pm.

For more info please call 0401 561 164

Bushfire Support Counselling

The Bushfire Support Counselling service offers a free counselling service to support individuals, families and communities impacted by bushfires. 

We will work with you to make a plan for moving forward and will offer coping strategies, social supports, counselling and family-based psychological interventions.

Please note* Catholic Care Bushfire services will be closed from 25 to 26 Dec.

Individuals and families impacted by bushfires in South Eastern NSW.

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

Waminda’s Strong Yawa

Strong Yawa is an after-hours phone support line for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Strong Yawa after-hours support line will be operating over the Christmas period – weekdays 5pm – 9pm and weekends 4pm – 7pm.

For more information please click here.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Illawarra Shoalhaven.

Call Strong Yawa on 1800 953 736 if you or a loved one need to yarn.


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

Or call: 1300 921 535

Do you need immediate help?

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

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