Support services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Young Indigenous man standing in a park

Everyone has to deal with challenges in their life sometimes, whether it’s feeling stressed, sad or angry. It helps to know that support services are available. But that help may be harder to get if you’re an Aboriginal or a Torres Strait Islander and you’re talking to a doctor or a mental health professional who doesn’t understand what your life is like or what you’re going through.

To make finding help easier, we've put together this guide on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and services where you can chat with people who will understand what you’re talking about.

National phone lines run by Indigenous people

13 YARN

13 YARN is a national helpline for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are going through a tough time and feel like having a yarn. All of the operators are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are trained to support you without judgement and to provide a confidential, culturally safe space to yarn about your needs, worries or concerns.

Phone: 13 92 76 (24 hours, 7 days a week)

Website: 13yarn.org.au

Brother to Brother

The Brother to Brother crisis line is a 24/7 phone line for Aboriginal men who need someone to talk to about issues going on in their life and community. They’ve got heaps of experience talking about relationship issues, family violence, parenting, drug and alcohol issues, and many other problems. It’s run by Aboriginal men, including elders, who understand these challenges really well. Phone: 1800 435 799 (24 hours, 7 days a week)

Website: dardimunwurro.com.au/brother-to-brother

Other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander helplines

These national phone lines can be helpful if you need someone to chat to. They might not be able to link you up with an Indigenous person, but they are very experienced in talking with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. They are all open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Websites with Aboriginal support services

If you don’t feel like talking to someone about what’s going on in your life, there are lots of websites where you can find useful information or other help. These sites are all made with input from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

  • The Black Dog Institute’s iBobbly app is a resource for social and emotional self-help for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

  • Yarn Safe is an online mental health resource for Indigenous people

  • ReachOut’s Yarn Up collection has stories from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people on how they stay safe and strong

  • The Manual of Resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention has information on how to keep yourself, your family and your community safe.

Regional Aboriginal support services

Sometimes, if you’re going through a rough time, you’ll want to talk to someone in person. This list of medical services can help if you want to talk to a member of the community face-to-face, rather than just over the phone.

These are just a few of the 150 or so regional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander support services that exist around Australia. If you can’t find a service on this list that’s near where you live, head over to this map of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander support services to find one that is.

These services are mostly open during business hours, Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 5 pm..

Aboriginal Support Services in NSW

Aboriginal Medical Service Cooperative Limited, Redfern

Where: Sydney’s Inner City.

Phone: (02) 9319 5823

Website: amsredfern.org.au

Greater Western Aboriginal Health Service (GWAHS)

Where: Greater Western Sydney (including Katoomba, Penrith and Mount Druitt), Wellington, Dubbo and Moree.

Phone: (02) 9836 7300

Website: gwahs.net.au

Awabakal Medical Service

Where: Newcastle, Maitland and Raymond Terrace.

Phone: (02) 4907 8555

Website: awabakal.org

Aboriginal Support Services in Victoria

Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-operative (BADAC)

Where: Ballarat and Ballarat district, including Avoca, Daylesford, Maldon, Ararat and Cressy.

Phone: (03) 5331 5344

Website: badac.net.au

Victorian Aboriginal Health Services

Where: Melbourne, including Fitzroy, Preston and Epping.

Phone: (03) 9419 3000

Website: vahs.org.au

Bendigo & District Aboriginal Co-operative

Where: Bendigo and the surrounding districts of Boort, Redesdale and Creswick.

Phone: (03) 5442 4947

Website: bdac.com.au

Wathaurong Health Service

Where: Geelong and Colac.

Phone: (03) 5277 0044

Website: wathaurong.org.au

Aboriginal Support Services in Queensland

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service Brisbane Limited (ATSiCHS)

Where: Brisbane and Logan.

Phone: (07) 3240 8900 (8.30 am to 4.30 pm, Monday to Friday)

Website: atsichsbrisbane.org.au

Townsville Aboriginal and Islanders Health Services (TAIHS)

Where: Townsville and the surrounding area.

Phone: (07) 4759 4000

Website: taihs.net.au

Kalwun Development Corporation Ltd

Where: The Gold Coast, including Bilinga, Coomera, Nerang and Miami.

Phone: (07) 5578 3434

Website: kalwun.com.au

Aboriginal Support Services in Northern Territory

Central Australian Aboriginal Congress (CAAC)

Where: Alice Springs and the surrounding area.

Phone: (08) 8951 4400

Website: caac.org.au

Urapuntja Health Service

Where: The Utopia community and the surrounding homelands northeast of Alice Springs.

Phone: (08) 8956 9875

Website: urapuntja.org.au

Danila Dilba Health Service

Where: Greater Darwin region.

Phone: (08) 8942 5400

Website: ddhs.org.au

Aboriginal Support Services in Western Australia

Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service Aboriginal Corporation (DYHSAC)

Where: Perth metropolitan area.

Phone: (08) 9421 3888

Website: dyhs.org.au

Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services (KAMS)

Where: All across the Kimberley, including Broome, Ord Valley, Derby, Halls Creek, Beagle Bay, Wyndham, Kununurra and Fitzroy Crossing.

Phone: (08) 9194 3200

Website: kams.org.au

Aboriginal Support Services in South Australia

Nunkuwarrin Yunti of South Australia Inc.

Where: Adelaide and Moonta.

Phone: (08) 8406 1600

Website: nunku.org.au

Aboriginal Support Services in ACT

Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and Community Services

Where: Canberra.

Phone: (02) 6284 6222

Website: winnunga.org.au

Aboriginal Support Services in Torres Strait

Apunipima Cape York Health Council

Where: All over Cape York.

Phone: (07) 4037 7100

Website: apunipima.org.au

What can I do now?

  • If you need urgent help, call 13 YARN (13 92 76) or visit our urgent help page.

  • For more stories about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people staying strong and safe, check out our Yarn Up collection.

  • To find a support service you can visit in person, check out this map of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander regional support services.

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