As an international student in Australia there is a lot of support out there to support you and your mental health and wellbeing, from online resources, tools, advice and services to face-to-face support. Sometimes, the hard part is finding the resources and services that are right for you and that are provided in your primary language.
The good news is that in Australia many services and resources are provided in a multitude of different languages. Major mental health organisations have support workers who speak many languages, there is also a vast array of translated mental health support information on a range of topics and interpreter services are also available to help you talk with mental health professionals and support services, when and where you need.
Check out these resources to help you access supports and services in your language:
Head to Health
Provided by the Australian Department of Health, Head to Health brings together apps, online programs, forums, phone services and a range of digital resources, many of which are designed to support individuals from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
Beyond Blue is one of Australia’s most well-known mental health organisation. They focus on supporting people who experience anxiety, depression and other mental health challenges.
Beyond Blue has pulled together a selection of resources that are been translated into a range of languages.
eheadspace Online provides group chats on various mental health topics, led by clinicians or young people.
Check out this helpchat that is specific to the needs of international students:
ReachOut is the most accessed online mental health service for young people and their parents in Australia.
ReachOut have collated a range of materials to support individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds navigate the ups and downs that come from living in a new country.
Transcultural Mental Health Centre
The Transcultural Mental Health Centre (TMHC) is a state-wide service in NSW that works with people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities, health professionals and partner organisations across NSW to support good mental health.
They have developed a range of mental health and wellbeing resources that have been translated into a range of languages:
Translating and Interpreting Services
If you speak languages other than English you are entitled to have access to an interpreter when you access a health service. The services are free to use for all patients, their families and carers. In making an appointment you can request the use of an interpreter and your provider will be able to coordinate this service for you.
There are a number of interpreter services that can be used, such as:
National Translating and Interpreting Service
The Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) provides interpreting services to people who do not speak English and to agencies and businesses that they need to communicate with.
Over 22 000 agency clients, including the Department of Home Affairs, are registered with TIS National. Some of their other clients include:
- state and federal government departments
- local councils
- medical and health practitioners
- utility companies
- telecommunication companies
- emergency services
- legal services
- settlement and community service providers
This means, that to use an interpreter and to receive their assistance when accessing a service, you can call the TIS National on 131 450. Upon making the call they will ask you which organisation you would like to be connected to – make sure to have to have their name and phone number on hand when making the call. The interpreter will then tell the TIS National operator who you need to contact and the operator will proceed to call and connect you and the interpreter to the organisation requested.
If no interpreter is available in your language, the operator will ask you to call back soon. If you speak more than one language, you may like to request an interpreter in another language.
You can also ask TIS National about having an in-person translator for appointments, which can be scheduled ahead of time.
Phone: 131 450
Sydney Health Care Interpreter Service (SHCIS)
SHCIS provides quality professional health care interpreting to health care providers and non-English speaking or Deaf patients. Their services support patients to participate, make informed decisions and successfully navigate mainstream services.
- Face to face interpreting
- Telephone interpreting
- Video conference interpreting (where available)
SHCIS is available to all public health facilities 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and the responsibility to book an interpreter lies with the health care provider seeing the patient.
Phone: (02) 9515 0030