Managing your health involves knowing where to go for health care, finding the right health information, speaking up for yourself and asking the right questions. Below are some useful contacts and resources for finding your way around the health system. You can also head over to the Canberra Health Literacy Hub to read about:
- communicating with a health provider
- how to manage your medicines safely
- finding trusted health information online
Navigating the ACT health system
Not sure which service to go to? This video from ACT Health can tell you some of the options you have.
Healthdirect’s symptom checker can help you understand your symptoms and work out which health services can help you.
Health Service Contacts
- In an emergency, always phone 000 for an ambulance.
- If you or someone you know is having a mental health crisis, phone Access Mental Health on 1800 629 354.
- You can call Lifeline for free counselling on 13 11 14 or visit Lifeline Australia for web and SMS chat.
- If you think someone has taken an overdose, made an error with medicine or been poisoned, phone the Poisons Information Line on 13 11 26
- Walk In Centres offer free help for minor illnesses and injuries. There are 5 locations in the ACT: Belconnen, Dickson, Gungahlin, Tuggeranong, and Weston Creek. They are open 7.30am to 10pm every day, including public holidays.
- Healthdirect gives you easy access to health advice, and information about general practice and after hours medical, pharmacy and dental services in your local area. Phone 1800 022 222.
- Community Health Intake (CHI) is the main booking line for all community-based ACT Health services and some outpatient services. To book an appointment, phone 02 5124 9977 between 8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday and 8am to 3:30pm on Wednesday. You can also cancel an appointment online.
- ACT Pathology collection centres are based in the hospitals and many community health centres. Phone 02 5124 2816 to be directed to the centre closest to you.
- Looking for a General Practitioner (GP), specialist, or other health service? Try the Find A Health Service page on the ACT Health website.
- You can contact the Canberra Hospital main switchboard by phone on (02) 5124 0000.
- You can contact the Calvary Public Hospital by phone on (02) 6201 6111.
You can learn more about public health services on the Canberra Health Services website.
- Access Mental Health is the central point of entry to access mental health services in the ACT. This includes the community mental health teams. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Phone 1800 629 354 or 02 6205 1065.
- The Canberra Head to Health Centre is an adult mental health centre that provides free mental health support and referrals. You don’t need an appointment or a referral. Drop in from 8.30am-4:30pm weekdays (8:30am-7pm on Wednesdays) at Shop G7 (Ground Floor), 14 Childers Street, Canberra City. You can also call 1800 595 212.
- Mind Map is a website for young people and their families to find mental health support in the ACT. You can also phone them from midday to 11pm every day on 1800 862 111.
Visit the HCCA Resource Library for our resources, including factsheets, guides and workbooks.
ACT Health Guides
- Using Health Services in the ACT is a book which can help you make the right decision about which health service to use, when you can use it and how much it will cost.
- If you are staying overnight at the Canberra Hospital or University of Canberra hospital, download the Guide to the Canberra Hospital and the University of Canberra Hospital from the ACT Health website.
- If you or someone you support is having treatment for cancer, you can download the Guide to Patient Support and Regional Cancer Services from the ACT Health website.
Other Useful Resources
- Healthdirect – offers 24/7 health advice, information and referrals for all Australians.
- Better Health Channel – a website funded by the Victorian government to provide reliable health information. This includes information about common medical conditions, treatments and healthy living.
- MyDr – an Australian healthcare website that posts:
- articles about health conditions, tests and treatments,
- news about health and fitness issues,
- health tools and calculators,
- and free eBooks on health topics.
- Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Health Care – creates and monitors standards for safety and quality in health care. They publish resources to help consumers know their rights and how to stay safe in health care.
- 10 Tips for Safer Health Care Booklet – this booklet is designed to help consumers, their families, carers and other support people get the most out of their health care.
- Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights – this poster describes the rights that consumers, or someone they care for, can expect when receiving health care. These rights apply to all people in all places where health care is provided in Australia.
- Health Translations Directory – a library of translated health and wellbeing resources from Australian sources. You can find reliable information here in over 100 languages.