Domestic violence can come in many different forms. It might involve actual physical violence, psychological/emotional violence (threats, speaking aggressively), putting you down in front of other people, or controlling your money so you’re not free to do what you want. Behaviour like this is never OK.
To keep yourself safe, you might have to make some really difficult decisions. You might have to move out and find somewhere safe to live, and you might have to talk to the Police. If that seems too much, tell a friend, a youth worker, or call one of the services listed here.
Violence Against Women - Australia Says No
1800 200 526
Domestic Violence Line
1800 656 463
West Connect Domestic Violence Services
This is your local service for women of all ages who need to escape domestic violence. As well as providing emergency accommodation they are skilled in helping you find other types of support and they run their own support groups. They have centres in Katoomba, Penrith and Blacktown. LGBTQI friendly.
Women's Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service
Gives women advice and information about legal protection from domestic violence. Can help you get an AVO (apprehended violence order) if you're in danger of being hurt. If your case goes to court they'll also provide support to help you through the process
- Lithgow and Katoomba 6352 2052 or 0405 901 207
- Penrith 4731 5098
There's plenty of support for Mountains people living with a disability, and this list represents only the tip of the iceberg. For more information call Council's Disability Officer on 4780 5546.
Wise Disabilities Employment Services
Offers a free program to help people with a disability find fulfilling work. The program includes guidance, coaching, training, employer negotiation and ongoing support once you’ve found a job.
197 Katoomba St
4782 5199 or 1800 685 105
598 High St
4721 8100 or 1800 685 105
Helps people with disabilities to find work in the mainstream workforce. They can help you improve your resume writing and interview skills, as well as giving job seeking support and on-the-job training.
81-83 Lurline Street
Shop 7, 127 Macquarie Road
20 Soper Place
Eloura Blue Mountains Disability Services
Eloura provides support for people over 18 living with a disability. They provide supported employment, grounds and maintenance apprenticeships, training and transition to work; plus community living and accommodation.
13-154 Scrivener Lane, Springwood
NADO Inc - Out and About Program
Supports people over 18 who have disabilities that make it difficult to get into work programs. Activities are based around personal development and living skills, and include sport, arts and crafts, music therapy, yoga and cooking. Programs run in Katoomba, Lawson and Penrith.
28 Gidley St, St Marys
1300 738 229
The Vale St Centre
A social and recreation service for people 18+ living with or recovering from a mental health issue. Activities you can do here include meditation, arts & crafts, classes in living skills, photography and writing. Also free computer and internet use, showers and laundry facilities. Open Mondays and Wednesdays 10:00am - 3:30pm.
21 Vale Street, Katoomba
Riding for the Disabled Association
This gives people with a disability the chance to go horse riding - great fun!
Me3 Mountains Youth Services Team Disability Support
MYST's Me3 program supports young people aged 12-24 with a disability. Their programs aim to build a young person's capacity and support their growth and development. Their programs include support co-ordination, behaviour support service, counselling, social groups, skill building programs and other capacity building programs.
Springwood (Macquarie Road), Katoomba and Lithgow
1300 006978 or email
Same sex attracted and gender questioning
The world is a beautiful place of diversity, and that includes who you are attracted to. Sometimes - sad but true - people still get their knickers in a knot about who other people love. Many young people feel fine about identifying as gay, lesbian, bisexual or queer and get huge support from family and friends. But there are some of us who still find it a hard road to travel, and might experience bullying, violence and discrimination. If you are exploring same sex attraction, you're not alone. Remember that identity is a fluid thing, and you could even spend your whole life figuring this stuff out. The same goes if you are exploring your gender identity, or identify as a transgendered person. Point is: stay true to you, and remember IT GETS BETTER.
Works with same-sex attracted people from 18 to 26 years of age. They can help with managing your health and preventing HIV, and connect you with peer support groups.
1800 063 060
Helps out same sex attracted people under 26 who are having problems at home or have recently become homeless. Based near Central, but you can call the helpline from anywhere - it is a free and confidential and can put you in touch with help and social groups locally.
1800 65 2010
Qlife is a national telephone and web support service, open daily 3.00pm - 12.00am.
1800 184 527
It's easier to cope with your sexual identity if your family's on-side. This is a support group especially for parents, siblings and friends of LGBTQI people.
- Local contact (Ruth or Ron) 4757 4864
- Info line 9294 1002
An events calendar for LGBTQI people living in the Blue Mountains - but not restricted to young people.
Looking for some general advice and info about issues to do with sexuality and gender? Head for these websites.
Not So Straight
A website to help young people find information and support about sex and sexuality.
It Gets Better
This fantastic site is all about helping LGBTQI young people to overcome bullying and discrimination. You'll find lots of videos with tips and support from all over the world, and a campaign that you can get your friends to sign and support.
Open Doors Youth Service Website
Another useful website full of information about LGBTQI issues.
We can all go through times when our thought and feelings seem overwhelming. Mental health issues like depression and anxiety make everything in life seem so much harder, because they affect how you think or feel about yourself.
Many factors can affect your mental health: physical things like not getting enough sleep, eating loads of junk food and using alcohol and drugs, or things like worrying about what’s going on with your family or friends. Sometimes it just happens, and it can affect anyone, young or old.
Help is a phone call away. Sometimes the best way to get through a problem is to talk about what’s on your mind. If you can’t tell a friend or your parents, try talking to a counsellor. You don’t have to go through it alone.
Mental health emergencies
If it's an emergency during office hours, call your local Community Health Centre, who will put you through to the ACCESS helpline. ACCESS can refer you to any mental health service in the Blue Mountains. For anything less urgent, or if it's after hours, call ACCESS direct on 1800 011 511.
The local numbers are:
- Katoomba 4782 2133
- Springwood 4751 0100
- Penrith 4732 9450
Personal Helpers and Mentors Program
Helps people over 16 with mental health issues to recover and live successfully in the community.
- Upper Mountains and Lithgow 6350 0100
- Lower and Mid Mountains 4720 9780
Non-judgemental help for people aged 12 - 25 with mental health concerns. Open Monday to Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm.
Penrith, 606 High Street
Western Sydney University Psychology Clinics
Free and unlimited mental health / psychological services to young people in the Blue Mountains and Penrith areas. Assessment and treatment is available.
Western Sydney University
Building BA, Penrith/Werrington South Campus
Great Western Highway
Helplines and useful websites
The following numbers can give you help in a crisis.
- Lifeline 13 11 14
- Kids Helpline 1800 55 18 00
- Beyondblue Infoline 1300 22 4636
For info and people’s stories go to:
This is an accommodation support service and rehabilitation program for young people aged 16-25 who have been diagnosed with a mental illness. They also run a drop-in centre for people aged 18-30 with art groups, cooking classes and a pool table. You’ll need a referral first, available through Headspace.
1/80 Henry Street
‘West Club’ Drop-In Centre
252 High St, Penrith.
Drugs and alcohol
Many young people are exposed to drugs and alcohol in some way, whether through friends, family members or the media. Some drugs, like alcohol and tobacco, are legal; others are illegal, or illicit. But they all change the way you think, feel and act.
Alcohol is the most commonly used drug in Australia. It’s legal to drink if you’re over 18, and many young people drink when hanging out with their friends. But if you don’t drink safely it can cause serious problems. Binge drinking (drinking a lot of alcohol quickly in order to get smashed) is particularly risky. When you’re drunk, you have less control over what you do. This can lead to all sorts of problems, such as violence, unwanted sex, or crime.
Not all drug use leads to, or is part of, an ongoing serious drug problem. However, even a small amount of drug use can have a big impact on you, your family and friends.
It's illegal to buy alcohol for anyone under 18. You could get fined $11,000 and a year in prison. Check out www.olgr.nsw.gov.au and hit the "Youth" tab for more info on underage drinking.
Alcohol and other drugs can easily become addictive. If you're using alcohol or other drugs just to get through the day, or if one of your friends has a problem, it's time to get help.
The first step is to call the Nepean Drug and Alcohol Service (Ph 4734 1333), which can put you in touch with the right Mountains clinic. You can normally bring along a parent or friend for moral support.
288-292 Macquarie Rd, Springwood
Drug & Alcohol Service at Katoomba Community Health
93 Waratah St, Katoomba NSW 2780
Noffs Foundation Out-Clients Counselling Service
Provides individual counselling to young people between 12 and 25 years who have difficulties with their own or others' alcohol or other drug (AOD) use, and also to their family and carers.
11 Cleeve Close, Mt Druitt
A specialist clinic that helps people get over addition to opiates (herion, codeine etc). Mostly for over 18s, but in certain cases they work with 16 and 17 year olds. Similar clinics operate in Penrith and Lithgow.
Blue Mountains District Anzac Memorial Hospital
Great Western Highway, Katoomba
Youth Drug and Alcohol Service
Nepean Hospital Campus, Somerset St, Penrith
Looking for some general info about alcohol and drugs and how they can affect you? Start with these sites.
Aboriginal Young People
Aboriginal Culture and Resource Centre
A good way to connect with the Blue Mountains Aboriginal Community. The people here can refer you to any service you need. If you've go young kids they provide a family support service and run a Koori playgroup. The centre has a dedicated Aboriginal Youth Coordinator role.
14 Oak St, Katoomba
4782 9402 or 0498 030 535
Link Up NSW
Link Up's Family-Link service helps to find kinship (relative) carers for Aboriginal children and young people (up to age 17) living in Out-of-Home care. They also offer support, counselling and advocacy for Aboriginal adults who have been separated from their families by adoption, removal, fostering or institutionalisation.
Blue Mountains City Council: Aboriginal men and youth project officer
4780 5560 or 0414 195 768
Mountains Youth Services Team
Family and friends are often the best people to help you share and solve your problems. But sometimes it’s helpful to talk things through with someone who’s not involved in a personal way. This is when counselling can help.
Counselling is a supportive process where a trained person (the counsellor) helps you work out what to do about your issues - no judgement, no dramas, and it’s totally private and confidential. Issues you might seek counselling for include grief, sexual or physical assault, drug problems, a family conflict - more or less anything that’s on your mind.
Mountains Youth Services Team
Help with family, school, legal and emotional issues.
1800 40 50 13
Nepean Adolescent and Family Services
A free service offering counselling, mediation, information and some practical assistance.
Penrith, Suite 102, 148 Henry Street
Counselling for families affected by violence and other issues affecting children or young people. Counselling may be individual, involve different family members, or groups
Cnr Glebe and Springfield Pl, Penrith
4734 2512 or 4734 2000
Noffs Foundation Out-Clients Counselling Service
Provides individual counselling to young people between 12 and 25 years who have difficulties with their own or others' alcohol or other drug (AOD) use, and also to their family and carers
1/11 Cleeve Close, Mt Druitt
Raising a child on your own? These services can help.
Parenting Young Project
If you're under 24 and either have kids or are about to, you can join this pregnancy and parenting support group. Open Fridays 10 am - 12 pm.
Lawson Family Day Care Playroom, Cnr San Jose & Loftus Streets
4758 6811 or 0421 943 069
Emergency financial help, energy vouchers, referrals and advice on how to make ends meet. They also offer parenting support for families with children under 12 years old. Open Mon - Fri 10 am - 4 pm
2 Station St, Katoomba
Gateway Family Services
Counselling for young people and their families, plus emergency help with food and money if you're living independently. During school term they also run supported playgroups at Winmalee Public School (Wed Mornings), Blaxland Public School (Thurs Mornings) and Warrimoo Public School (Tues Mornings).
70 Old Bathurst Rd, Blaxland
Community Child & Family Health Services
Provides counselling, speech pathology, occupational therapy, early childhood community nurses, women's health services and immunisation.
288 - 292 Macquarie Road, Springwood