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Mental health

  • People's responses to an experience of domestic, family and sexual violence can vary
  • There are a range of different responses a person may have when experiencing mental health issues or crisis
  • Recognising that traumatic events can impact on mental health can be helpful for reaching out for support
  • If you have worries about your mental health there are a range of services that can support you.
  • If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic, family and sexual violence, support is available: call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732, text 0458 737 732 or visit our website for online chat and video call services:
    • Available 24/7: Call, text or online chat
    • Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm AEST (except national public holidays): Video call (no appointment needed) 

Mental health and trauma

Domestic and family violence and sexual assault are traumatic events and violations of human rights that may be experienced once, repeated, or ongoing. How this trauma is experienced from person to person will vary and will be influenced by multiple social and personal factors such as socioeconomic status and support systems.

Common responses to trauma may include aggression, hyper-vigilance, anxiety, panic and depression. These responses do not necessarily indicate pre-existing mental health issues or crisis and may relate solely to the experience of domestic and family violence and sexual assault. Serious responses to trauma may include suicidal ideation, suicidal attempt, and psychotic symptoms including hallucinations and delusions. Alcohol and other drug use may also be used as a response to trauma.

Common responses to trauma may include aggression, hyper-vigilance, anxiety, panic and depression.

Recognising and understanding these reactions as a response to trauma can help access the right support. Specialist trauma counsellors, mental health services and other services such as alcohol and other drug specialists are available to provide support.

If you have been impacted by domestic and family violence or sexual assault and are experiencing mental health issues or crisis, 1800RESPECT is available for confidential information, counselling and support.