Mental health concerns

Mental health concerns affect how a person thinks, feels and behaves. They may or may not be part of a mental illness, which is a diagnosed mental health problem.

Mental health concerns include feelings of depression, anxiety, and psychosis.

What to do

Immediate risk

If you believe someone is an immediate risk to themselves or others, you should call for help as soon as possible.

Off campus

  • Victoria Police & Ambulance 000 (if someone is injured, violent or armed).
  • Psychiatric Triage Services (information, assessment and referral).
    • Footscray Park, Footscray Nicholson and Werribee : 1300 657 259.
    • Sunshine, Melton, St Albans, City Flinders, City Queen, City King: 1300 874 243.
    • Lifeline 13 11 14 (telephone crisis counselling).

On campus

  • Student Wellbeing (business hours only):
    • Manager of Student Counselling 0425 757 310.
  • Security 9919 6666 (if injured, violent or armed, and 24/7).

Non-immediate risk

If you have mental health concerns for someone and there is no immediate risk of harm, you can consult or book an appointment with support services.

Off campus

On campus

Supporting someone with mental health concerns

If you or someone you know is experiencing mental health concerns you should seek professional support.

Some suggestions on how to support someone with mental health issues:

  • If the person is at risk of harming themselves or others, contact Emergency Services (000)
  • Give the person opportunities to talk.
  • Speak openly and honestly about your concerns.
  • Use 'I' rather than 'you' statements to express your feelings.
  • Respect how the person interprets their symptoms.
  • Let the person know you want to help and support them.
  • Treat the person with dignity and respect.
  • Do not blame the person for their illness.
  • Listen attentively, encourage the person to speak to you.
  • Do not tell them to 'snap out of it' or 'get over it'.
  • Do not belittle or dismiss the person's feelings.
  • Ask the person if they need help managing how they are feeling.
  • Discuss help-seeking options.
  • Encourage and support the person to seek help.
  • If the person does not want help, respect their decision.

Mental Health First Aid Australia provides advice on how to help someone with a mental illness.

Statistics about mental illness

 Infographic text on page

Prevalence of mental illness

  • Affects 1 in 5 Australian every year
  • Prevalence decreases with age
  • Highest for 18-24 years of age.

Experience of disorders over 12 months

  • 14% anxiety disorders
  • 6% affective disorders
  • 3% psychotic illness.

Impact of mental illness

  • 3rd leading cause of disability burden
  • 65% of people with a mental illness do not access treatment

Large infographic: mental illness

Developed by Safer Community, Victoria University

Sources: Mind Frame, 2014.

Mental health resources

Fact sheets

University policies