If you are in crisis or need urgent help, call 000 immediately. You can find more information about crisis support services on this page.

You can contact emergency services anywhere in Australia on 000 to get urgent help from the police, fire or ambulance services.

Click on the video below by Connect4Health to learn more about when to contact the emergency services.


An overdose happens when someone has taken too much medication, alcohol or other drugs.

Signs of an overdose will depend on the type of drug the person has taken. Someone who has overdosed may have some of the following symptoms:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Drowsiness or ‘nodding off’
  • Trouble breathing or deep snoring
  • Sweating or overheating
  • Loss of consciousness (‘passing out’)
  • Slurring words
  • Feeling agitated or paranoid
  • Increase or decrease in heart rate

It is possible to die from an overdose of medication, alcohol or other drugs. In Australia, more people die each year of a drug overdose than in a road traffic accident – and most of those overdoses are accidental.

What do I do if someone has overdosed?

If you think someone has overdosed:

  • Call an ambulance on 000 immediately.
  • If it’s safe to do so, stay with the person and try to keep them calm.
  • If you think they are unconscious or have ‘passed out’, try to wake them (you can call their name or tap on their shoulder).
  • If you can’t wake them, lie them on their side (in the ‘recovery position’).
  • If you can, tell the ambulance worker what medication or other drugs they have taken, and how much they took.
  • If you are with someone else, ask them to stay with you until the ambulance arrives.
  • Follow the advice of the ambulance worker over the phone – they will tell you how to look after the person.



Image sourced from http://hamrah.co/en/pages/drug-overdose/

Where can I get more information?

  • For more information on the signs of overdose in different types of drugs, please see our page on ‘Information on alcohol and other drugs’ page.
  • Click here to read more information about overdose on prescription and over-the-counter medications.
  • Click here to read more about the signs of alcohol overdose.
  • Click here to read more about the signs of heroin overdose.

If you, a friend or a family member needs urgent mental health support, contact your local mental health triage service. The triage service can tell you how to support your family member, and if needed, send out a mental health worker to check on your family member.

To find your local mental health triage service please click here for a list of adult mental health services.

You can also take your family member to the local hospital emergency department and ask for an urgent mental health assessment, or phone the police or ambulance on 000.


If you think a family member is having thoughts about suicide, it is important to reach out to them and talk about it. If you are worried they are in immediate danger of hurting themseles, contact 000 immediately. If it is safe to do so, try to stay with the person and support them.

There are also 24 hour telephone support and counselling services that you or your family member can call from anywhere in Australia. These include:

What is a ‘suicide safety plan’?

If the person you are worried about is having thoughts of suicide, but is not in immediate danger, it can be helpful to have a ‘safety plan’. A safety plan is a list of ways the person can manage distress and keep themselves safe. A safety plan should include a list of people and services they can call for help.

One way to create a safety plan is through a free app called BeyondNow. You can download this from the Beyond Blue website here or through the iTunes or Google Play app store on your phone or tablet.

Where can I get more information?

  • For more information about suicide and how to support someone who is having thoughts of suicide, click here to read the suicide prevention toolkit by Lifeline.

If you or your family member are experiencing family violence, there are several 24 hour support services you can contact for help. If you or a family member are in immediate danger, call 000 immediately.

  • The Orange Door provides information, support and referrals for people affected by family violence in Victoria. To find your closest Orange Door, click here.
  • Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre offers services to Victorians experiencing family violence. Call them on 1800 015 188 (24hrs) or visit their website here for more information.
  • 1800RESPECT have a national telephone support line for anyone experiencing family violence across Australia. Call them on 1800 737 732 (24hrs) or visit their website here.
  • Men’s Referral Service provide counselling and support for men affected by family violence, including men who are victims of family violence and men who are using violence against others. You can call them on 1300 766 491 or visit their website here.

Where can I get more information?

  • For more information about how to support a family member who may be experiencing family violence, click here to read information from Safe Steps.
  • For more information about alcohol and other drug use and family violence, click here to read the ‘Walking a Tightrope’ resource by Family Drug Support.

If your family member is homeless or at risk of homelessness, they can get help finding stable accommodation through a housing support worker. This includes anyone who is ‘sleeping rough’ (sleeping on the streets), ‘couch surfing’ (staying with friends), doesn’t feel safe in their own home or doesn’t have a stable place to live.

If your family member needs urgent help with housing after hours, they can contact their nearest housing crisis centre by clicking here, or by calling 1800 825 955 (24hrs). A housing and support worker will take your call and will refer you to help in your local area.

Where can I get more information?

  • For information on housing support services for young people, click here to see our section on ‘Services for young people‘.
  • For more information about housing services, click here to see our section on ‘Housing and accommodation services’.

Ask Izzy

Ask Izzy is a free and anonymous website that connects people who are homeless with essential services such as housing, food, clothing, health care, legal advice, counselling or addiction treatment. Ask Izzy can be used by anyone across Australia.

There are support options for anyone who is currently homeless or ‘sleeping rough’, as well as for people who don’t have permanent housing or who are at risk of homelessness.

For more information, visit the website here.