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Support Groups

Support Groups

Support Groups

A support group is a small group of people who meet regularly to discuss personal experiences, problems and strategies for coping with being a mental health consumer. Some support groups meet online however a number of groups meet face-to-face on specific issues. In the Nepean Blue Mountains region there are support groups for:

  • Drug, Alcohol and Gambling
  • Mental Health Conditions such as anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Mental Health Carers and Family Members (including carers who look after someone with dementia)
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people
  • Women suffering from domestic violence
  • Men
  • People who are suicidal or a family member who has experienced the death of a loved one due to suicide (bereavement)
  • Perinatal Depression
Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS) - Perinatal Program

ATAPS offers a subsidised program to assist women experiencing perinatal depression and related disorders to access psychological services. The care provided includes short-term evidence based assessment and treatment, provided by a Mental Health Professional experienced in working with women with perinatal depression and related disorders. The service provides women with up to 12 sessions per calendar year. Mental Health Professionals working in this program include psychologists, clinical psychologists, social workers and mental health nurses.

Target Audience
Women with Perinatal Depression and Related Disorders

Eligibility
To be eligible for an ATAPS referral, the person must be a woman who: is pregnant, or has a child up to 12 months of age, is experiencing perinatal depression or a related disorder, in which you are likely to benefit from short-term intervention, has not been referred to psychological services under Medicare in the current calendar year, attends a GP within the region of the Nepean Blue Mountains PHN (this area includes the Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury, Lithgow and Penrith Local Government Areas)

Cost
In some areas, you may charged up to $10 towards the cost of each session

Referral
Referrals to ATAPS are made by your General Practitioner or Psychiatrist. Referrals are made over the telephone to the ATAPS Intake line on 1800 223 365

Call (02) 4708 8100

Visit website

Alcoholics Anonymous Australia (AA)

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of alcoholics who share their experience, strength and hope with each other to recover from alcoholism. AA works through members telling their stories of what they used to be like, what happened and what they are like now through the Twelve Steps framework for self-examination and a road to recovery, free of alcohol.

Email
aa.bluemountainswesternsydney@gmail.com

Call 1300 222 222

Visit website

Alzheimer's Communication Carer Partner

The Alzheimer's Communication Carer Partner is a consultancy service for family and friends of people who have a loved one with dementia. The service aims to mentor and educate carers and family members with the strategies to build a support network around people experiencing dementia. The service educates carers to be more mindful and 'in the moment' with their loved one by working on strategies on how to approach dementia, how to act when the care is around them and how to reduce anxiety associated with the cascade of stress that may accompany 'untrained' confrontations. Services offered include:

  • Consultancy
  • Advice
  • Guidance
  • Planning ahead
  • Liaison with other health services

Target Audience
Carers of people with an early diagnosis of dementia

Eligibility
Anybody who wants to learn about Alzheimer's disease; families

Email
alzheimerscommunication@gmail.com

Cost
Negotiate a cost in relation to travelling costs and affordability criteria.

Hours of Operation
Anytime within an agreement.

Local Areas
Hawkesbury

Referral
Will take referrals from any organisation or General Practitioner.

Call 0414 265 203

Aunties and Uncles

Aunties and Uncles is a mentoring program for vulnerable and socially isolated children aged 1 to 11 years in which a mentoring relationship offers each child time, attention, care, stability, guidance and exposure to new experiences and opportunities to empower them to reach their potential and establish their future. This lasts for a minimum of 12 months, with many relationships continuing well beyond this. There are groups at Penrith, Hazelbrook, Lawson and Wentworth Falls.

Target Audience
Vulnerable and socially isolated children aged 1-11 years.

Email
auntiesuncles@wesleymission.org.au

Local Areas
Blue Mountains, Penrith

Postal Address
PO Box 7072, Silverwater NSW 1811

Call (02) 9638 2480

Visit website

Australian Men's Shed Association (AMSA)

The Australian Men's Shed Association (AMSA) is the peak body representing more than 930 Men's Sheds throughout Australia. Acting as a central hub for information exchange, AMSA is a body that represents, supports and promotes the Men's Shed movement as well as shares information between sheds and those communities wishing to establish and operate a Men's Shed. There are a number of men's sheds in the Nepean Blue Mountains region including:

Blackheath Men's Shed
8 Bundara St, Blackheath NSW 2785 (02) 4782 6569

Hawkesbury Men's Shed
23 Bosworth St, Richmond NSW 2753 - (02) 4570 4459

Katoomba Men's Shed
6 Orient St, Katoomba NSW 2780 - (02) 4782 7433

Lithgow Men's Shed
1 Fred Burley Drive, Lithgow NSW 2790 - 0425 294 824

The Lower Mountains Men's Shed
19 Calver Ave, Mt Riverview NSW 2774 - (02) 4751 6819

Penrith Valley Men's Shed
(02) 4732 7936

Target Audience
All men throughout Australia

Postal Address
PO Box 793, The Junction NSW 2291

Call 1300 550 009

Visit website

Blue Mountains Women's Health and Resource Centre

The Centre runs ongoing and short-term groups, including:

  • Therapeutic and support groups
  • Health information and education groups
  • Peer-led self-advocacy/self-help groups;
  • Social and/or physical activity groups.

Groups may be aimed at all women in the community, or specific groups. Some groups are run at the Centre, while others are held at outreach locations in the Blue Mountains.

Address
124 Lurline Street, Katoomba NSW 2780

Target Audience
Young women, older women, women from a non-English speaking background; women experiencing emotional ill health; women with a disability; and Aboriginal women

Email
bmwhrc@bmwhrc.org

Local Areas
Blue Mountains

Call (02) 4782 5133

Visit website

Caring for Carers

Support for carers of frail aged or people with a disability with the emphasis on social interaction and support amongst the group members themselves. It is a peer support group with a professional facilitator who organises and attends the meetings with guest speakers often invited to attend for part of a meeting to share information. Each year group members are invited to a mid-year event and also a Christmas lunch.

Address
9 New Street, Lawson NSW 2783

Target Audience
Carers of a person who is frail aged or an adult (18 years or more) with a disability.

Email
evaregitz@mmnc.org.au

Hours of Operation
The 2nd Wednesday afternoon of each month 1:30pm to 3.30pm.

Local Areas
Blue Mountains

Postal Address
PO Box 117, Lawson NSW 2783

Call (02) 4759 2592

Visit website

Circle of Friends Parents Bereavement Support Group

A bereavement support group for parents who have experienced the loss of a child.

Address
33 William St, North Richmond NSW 2754

Hours of Operation
4th Monday of every month 8:00pm-9:00pm

Local Areas
Hawkesbury

Call (02) 4573 6091

Visit website

Dads in Distress Support Service

Dads in Distress provides a host of support services for Dads throughout Australia, in particular separated dads. Support services that Dads in Distress provide for separated dads include:

  • A 24/7 helpline
  • Support groups
  • One-on-one support
  • Advocacy and
  • A comprehensive website with news, resources, information, stories and forums

Target Audience
Men who are separated dads.

Hours of Operation
Mon-Fri 8.30am-5.00pm

Postal Address
PO Box 2333, Coffs Harbour NSW 2450

Call 1300 853 437

Visit website

Dementia Advisory Service - Anglicare

The Dementia Advisory Service (DAS) provides assistance in the community for those caring for someone with a diagnosis of Dementia and for the person diagnosed as well. DAS can offer:

  • Monthly carer support groups (carers only)
  • Monthly coffee groups for both carer and Person with Dementia to socialise
  • Education/information days
  • Conferences
  • Home visits to assist with strategies to help families cope with changed behaviours
  • Simply learn how to adjust to the changes as they occur

Address
91A Kurrajong Rd, Mt Druitt NSW 2770

Target Audience
Carers of those in the role of caring for someone with a diagnosis of Dementia and the person with the diagnosis

Eligibility
People with Dementia who are over 65 years old.

Email
nbossard@anglicare.org.au

Hours of Operation
Mon-Fri 8.30am-4.30pm

Local Areas
Penrith, Hawkesbury, Blue Mountains

Call (02) 8805 0998

Dementia Carers Support Group

The Dementia Carers Support Group is a support group for people whose loved one has dementia. It provides information, guidance and support as well as valuable social interaction opportunities for people with dementia who live alone or are socially isolated.

Address
Doug Cameron's Office - 5 Raymond Lane, Springwood NSW 2777

Target Audience
Carers of people with dementia.

Eligibility
Anybody who needs support in coping with a loved one with dementia.

Email
cvs@sncc.org.au

Hours of Operation
Meets 2nd and 4th Friday of each month between 2:00-4:00pm.

Local Areas
Blue Mountains

Referral
Call (Monday to Friday) or email to join the group.

Call (02) 4751 3033

Visit website

Family and Carer Mental Health Program

The Family and Carer Mental Health Program offers individual support, education and training and support group services to families and carers of people living with mental illness. The program aims to improve carer well-being, resilience, coping skills and relationships.

The Family and Carer Mental Health Program offers the following free services:

  • Individual Support Workers - to meet with carers one-on-one, listen, set goals, provide emotional support and links to services as needed.
  • Education and Training Courses - to assist carers to gain specific knowledge and skills or to pursue personal growth and find resilience.
  • Monthly Carer Support Groups - for carers to share their experience with other carers of people with mental illness.

Address
Level 1, 606 High St, Penrith NSW 2750

Target Audience
Family and carers of people living with a mental illness.

Email
fcmhinfo@parramattamission.org.au

Cost
Free

Local Areas
Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury, Lithgow, Penrith

Referral
Self-referral and Service provider.

Call (02) 8880 8160

Visit website

Family Law Support Group - Wimlah Women's Refuge Outreach and Women's Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service (WDVCAS)

Wimlah Women's Refuge Outreach and Women's Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service (WDVCAS) is a specialist domestic violence service that offers a Family Law Support Group.

Email
wimlahmanager@bigpond.com

Local Areas
Blue Mountains

Call (02) 4782 9158

Grow - Lithgow

Grow is a national organisation that provides a peer supported program for growth and personal development for people with a mental illness and those experiencing difficulty in coping with life's challenges.

Grow groups offer the opportunity for people to share challenges and solutions for recovery in a supportive and structured way. Meetings are held weekly. Group members use Grow's 12 Step Program as a means of change and personal growth.

Address
172 Main St, Lithgow NSW 2790

Cost
Free

Referral
No referral needed.

Local Areas
Lithgow

Call 0419 469 230

Grow - Penrith

Grow is a community-based organisation that helps people recover from mental illness through a unique program of mutual support and personal development. Grow Groups meet weekly and are run by seasoned 'Growers' who have taken a voluntary leadership role within the Group. Over the course of each meeting, the group engages in a series of group discussions, interactions, and readings that follow a structure and timetable.

Address
Community Health Centre, Soper Place, Penrith NSW 2750

Target Audience
Mental Illness

Eligibility
None

Cost
Free

Hours of Operation
Thurs 10:00am

Local Areas
Penrith

Call 1800 558 268

Visit website

Katoomba Family and Carer Mental Health Support Group

The Katoomba Family and Carer Mental Health Support Group is run by local women who support someone with mental health issues. It provides an opportunity to meet with other women carers in a similar position to gain new resources and share stories about their experiences.

Address
Blue Mountains Women's Health and Resource Centre, 124 Lurline St, Katoomba 2780 NSW

Target Audience
Women carers of people living with a mental illness

Hours of Operation
Last Friday of each month 10:15am -1:00pm

Local Areas
Blue Mountains

Call (02) 8599 4880

Visit website

Katoomba Gay and Lesbian Alcohol Anonymous Recovery

The Gay and Lesbian Alcohol Anonymous group is a safe space where anyone with a problem can meet and share their experience with alcohol who are gay, lesbian or transgender.

Address
Katoomba Neighbourhood Centre, 8 Station St, Katoomba NSW 2780

Target Audience
People with alcohol problems who are gay, lesbian or transgender

Eligibility
No selection criteria, tests or checks of any sort

Email
info@gayAA.org.au

Hours of Operation
Meets every Saturday

Local Areas
Blue Mountains

Call (02) 4757 3005

Visit website

Lawson Men's Carer Support Group

The Lawson Men's Carer Support Group is a group of men who care for someone with a mental illness. This group encourages men to improve their self-care, learn new strategies and improve carer wellbeing.

Address
9 New St, Lawson NSW 2783

Target Audience
Men supporting someone with a mental illness.

Eligibility
Men only.

Cost
Free

Hours of Operation
Meets first Wednesday of each month 6:00pm-8:00pm.

Local Areas
Blue Mountains

Postal Address
PO Box 117, Lawson NSW 2783

Call 0402 898 520

Visit website

Lemon Zest

Lemon Zest is a lesbian social group in the Blue Mountains that has regular outings, film nights, dances, camping weekends, writing and drama and other activities. Click here to see what activities are currently taking place at Lemon Zest.

Address
124 Lurline St, Katoomba NSW 2780

Target Audience
Lesbians

Email
at_bmlemonzest@gmail.com

Local Areas
Blue Mountains

Call 0419 551 474

Visit website

Lithgow Family and Carer Mental Health Support Group

Lithgow Family and Carer Mental Health Support groups provide individual support for family members and friends of mental health consumers. It provides an opportunity to meet with other family members and carers in a similar position to gain new resources and share stories about their experiences.

Address
Meeting Room Lithgow Library, 157 Main St, Lithgow NSW 2790

Target Audience
All carers looking after someone with a mental illness.

Email
fcmhinfo@ucmh.org.au

Hours of Operation
Fourth Thursday of every month 1:00pm-3:00pm

Local Areas
Lithgow

Call (02) 8599 4880

Visit website

Living with Loss Support Group

A free support group for people living and dealing with loss in their lives.

Address
North Richmond Community Centre, 33 William St, North Richmond NSW 2754

Hours of Operation
10:00am-12:00pm, every 3rd Monday

Local Areas
Hawkesbury

Call (02) 4571 3748

Visit website

Men's Support Groups

Men's Support Groups provide a host of support services for men online, over the phone and face-to-face. There is a network of Men’s Sheds throughout the Nepean Blue Mountains Region as well as other groups that facilitate information exchange and other means of support for men such as advocacy, networking and sharing valuable skills.

Mid Mountains Neighbourhood Centre

The following support groups are run out of the Mid Mountains Neighbourhood Centre:

  • Bereaved by Suicide Support Group on the 2nd Thursday of each month from 5:00pm-7:00pm.
  • Bipolar and Carers Support Group on the 3rd Sunday of each month from 2:00pm-4:00pm.
  • The "Pity Party" Support Group for people with multiple diagnoses on the first Friday of each month from 2:00pm-4:00pm.

Address
9 New St, Lawson NSW 2783

Email
info@mmnc.org.au

Hours of Operation
Mon-Thurs 9:00am-4:00pm
Fri 9:00am-1:00pm

Local Areas
Blue Mountains

Call (02) 4759 2592

Visit website

Narcotics Anonymous (NA)

Narcotics Anonymous (NA) is a non-profit fellowship for recovering drug addicts who meet regularly to help each other stay clean. There is a set of principles that are followed to help people become abstinent from all drugs. Their primary purpose is to carry the message of recovery to the general public, professional and government organisations, addicts in recovery, and the addict who still suffers.

Address
Unit 34, 112-122 McEvoy St, Alexandria NSW 2015

Target Audience
Addicts in recovery, and the addict who still suffers

Hours of Operation
Free

Call 1300 652 820

Visit website

The Open Door

The Open Door is a Christian based support group for the GLBTIQ community in Penrith and the Blue Mountains. People from a variety of backgrounds come to the Open Door to chat, discuss, reflect and pray.

Address
74 Laycock St, Cranebrook NSW 2749

Eligibility
Community

Email
pastorsue@theopendoor.org.au

Hours of Operation
Meets every Sunday at 6:00pm

Local Areas
Blue Mountains, Penrith

Call 0411 330 212

Visit website

Parents and Families Finding Strength (PAFFS)

A grief support group for family members to have the opportunity to connect and share experiences and feelings with other families living with the pain and heartache after the loss of a child at any age and from any cause.

Address
The Mid Mountains Neighbourhood Centre, 9 New Street, Lawson NSW 2783

Hours of Operation
Fourth Saturday of each month from 3:00pm-5:00pm

Local Areas
Blue Mountains

Call 0438 464 824

Visit website

Penrith Carer Support Group

The Penrith Carer Support Group is a group for all family members and carers of people with the lived experience of mental illness. It provides an opportunity to meet with other family members and carers in a similar position to gain new resources and share stories about their experiences.

Address
Mental Health Centre, Nepean Hospital, Derby St, Kingswood NSW 2747

Target Audience
All carers looking after someone with a mental illness

Email
fcmhinfo@ucmh.org.au

Hours of Operation
Meets 3rd Wednesday of every month 5:15pm-7:00pm

Local Areas
Penrith

Call (02) 8599 4880

Visit website

Penrith Women's Health Centre

The Penrith Women's Health Centre provides health services that address all aspects of women's lives and enhance one's existing strengths and skills. They run a number of different groups and workshops in which some are ongoing. Programs include an:

  • Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse group for women who are Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse
  • Counselling Services for women
  • A Cultural and Linguistic Diversity Program that supports women from refugee & migrant background
  • Specialist domestic violence services
  • A number of different groups and workshops
  • Massage
  • A GP and Nurse Practitioner for women's health

Click here to see available courses.

Address
Cnr Henry & Station Street, Penrith NSW 2750

Target Audience
Women

Hours of Operation
Opening hours: Monday-Friday 9.30am to 4.00pm

Email
pwhcentre@pwhc.org.au

Local Areas
Penrith

Call (02) 4721 8749

Visit website

Peppercorn Men's Group

The Peppercorn Men's Group is a support group that does day trips to venues, conducts activities and provides group lunches. This service provides an opportunity for men to listen and learn from the knowledge and diversity of other men.

Address
320 George Street, Windsor NSW 2756

Target Audience
All men in the Hawkesbury area

Eligibility
Meets on the 1st Tuesday of every month

Email
frontdesk@psinc.com.au

Local Areas
Hawkesbury

Call (02) 4587 0222

Visit website

Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA)

PANDA provides a vital service across Australia by offering the only specialist national perinatal mental health telephone counselling service. PANDA's telephone information, counselling and referral service is staffed by trained volunteers, professional counsellors and supervising staff. Many helpline counsellors have had their own experience of perinatal depression or anxiety. PANDA has access to a database of local services throughout Australia as well as an online database accessible to members of the public.

Target Audience
People with perinatal depression and anxiety as well as their families

Email
info@panda.org.au

Hours of Operation
Mon-Fri 9:00am - 7:30pm

Call 1300 726 306

Visit website

The Shed Online

The Shed Online is an online social community for men. It is a place for men to socialise, network, make friends, access information on health and wellbeing and share skills.

Target Audience
All men throughout Australia.

Call 1300 550 009

Visit website

SMART Recovery for Women

SMART Recovery for Women is a self-help cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) based support group for women.

Target Audience
Women

Hours of Operation
Weekly Wed 10.30 am to 12 noon

Local Areas
Blue Mountains

Postal Address
PO Box 1009, Katoomba NSW 2780

Call (02) 4782 9265

Visit website

Springwood Anxiety Support Group

The Anxiety Group is a support group for consumers and their family and carers. Run by WayAhead, this group helps people develop strategies to help overcome issues related to anxiety.

Address
Springwood Uniting Church, 4 Lewin St, Spirngwood NSW 2777

Target Audience
People experiencing anxiety, their carers and family.

Hours of Operation
Meets every 2nd Saturday of the month 10:00am-12:00pm

Local Areas
Blue Mountains

Call (02) 9339 6013

Visit website

St John of God OCD Program

St John of God provides an OCD Support Program that provides ongoing regular meetings for day patients with OCD. The Support Program is facilitated by experienced staff and provides the opportunity for the client to meet other people with OCD and to consolidate your progress in treatment. The program can provide support if needed during transition from inpatient care to home or during the waiting period before the commencement of the next treatment program.

Address
177 Grose Vale Rd, North Richmond NSW 2754

Target Audience
People with OCD

Email
info.richmond@sjog.org.au

Local Areas
Hawkesbury

Postal Address
Locked Bag 2, Richmond NSW 2753

Referral
Please contact the Counselling & Therapy Centre on (02) 4570 6128 and check the website for further details about each program including start dates

Call (02) 4570 6100

Visit website

Suicide Prevention and Support Network (Western Sydney)

Bereavement support groups dedicated towards working and carrying out research for people affected by suicide and to offer support for those struggling with suicidal thoughts.

Penrith
PO Box 139, Penrith NSW 2751

Windsor
The Windsor RSL - 36 Argyle St, South Windsor NSW 2756

Target Audience
People 18 years and over who have suicidal thoughts or are affected by suicide

Email
admin@supportaftersuicide.com.au

Local Areas
Penrith, Hawkesbury

Call 0402 627 696

Visit website

The Three Sisters

A group open to gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender, intersex people and their friends and families that arranges social events in the Blue Mountains region. Current activities include:

  • Monthly dinner
  • Monthly luncheon
  • Summer barbecues
  • Flower shows
  • A garden party
  • Annual disco
  • A costume ball

Target Audience
Gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender, intersex people and their friends and families.

Local Areas
Blue Mountains

Postal Address
PO Box 7074, Leura NSW 2780

Call (02) 8230 0889

Visit website

The Women's Cottage

The Women's Cottage provides community based support and a Resource Centre run by women, for women and their children. They provide a number of support groups and programs including a therapeutic group for women who were sexually abused as children; a networking group for women over 60; a drumming circle; a bi and lesbian group and much more. If you are interested in seeing what groups are available please click here.

Address
22 Bosworth St, Richmond NSW 2753

Target Audience
Women and their children

Local Areas
Hawkesbury

Call (02) 4578 4190

Visit website

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