Treatments and tests

Mental illness treatments and medications

  • Medication can be an important part of treatment.
  • Always read the manufacturer’s Consumer Medicine Information leaflet when starting your medication.
  • Consult with your doctor about appropriate medications and possible side effects.

Many people who suffer from mental health issues can recover if offered appropriate treatment.

Treatment for mental health issues is varied and can involve psychological therapy, community support programs and medication.

Child and adolescent treatment

The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) provides recovery-focussed treatment for mental health issues in children and young people.

In order to use medications safely and effectively, children, young people and their families need to know:

  • how to take medications correctly
  • what side effects to expect
  • how to monitor these effects
  • when to expect them
  • what to do if the medication doesn’t appear to be working
  • what to do if an adverse drug reaction is experienced.

What are psychotropic medications?

Psychotropic medications refer to medications that are associated with the treatment of psychiatric conditions and other mental health problems.

What kinds of psychotropic medications are available?

Consumers, carers and families affected by a mental illness can visit the Choice and Medication website (external site) to find out about available medications.

It is recommended that CAMHS clients use the information from the Choice and Medication website as a starting point for a conversation with CAMHS staff about their treatment options and make informed decisions about their healthcare.

What are the side effects of psychotropic medications?

Different medications will have different benefits and risks. Refer to the information leaflet that is included with your prescription medication (called Consumer Medicine Information) which outlines use, side effects and precautions.

Where to get help

  • See your psychiatrist
  • Call Lifeline on 13 11 14
  • Mental Health Emergency Response Line (MHERL)
    • Metro: 1300 55 788
    • Peel: 1800 676 822
  • RuralLink
    • Rural and remote areas 1800 552 002
  • View mental health emergency contact details

Children and adolescents

  • See your doctor or contact your local community CAMHS service
  • The CAMHS Crisis Connect (external site) provides phone and online videocall support for children and young people who are experiencing a mental health crisis, as well as support and advice to families and carers. The service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 1800 048 636.
  • In an emergency attend an emergency department or call 000

Medicines information line

Last reviewed: 02-11-2021

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)
Mental Health Unit
Choice and Medication

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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