Connecting with people is what binds us together as people. We've included connections on this page to people and agencies that can support you to strengthen your mental health or someone you care about, and provide help when you need it.
Mental health and wellbeing hub
The NSW Department of Education mental health and wellbeing hub includes ways you can help yourself and others to strengthen mental health.
It has links and contact details for getting help when you need it, including help following a natural disaster.
Visit the Mental health and wellbeing hub
13 11 14 – 24 hours a day
0477 13 11 14 – 6pm to midnight (AEDT)
1300 22 4636 www.beyondblue.org.au
Butterfly Foundation National Helpline
1800 334 673
1800 242 636 or 1300 554 660
SANE Australia Help Centre
1800 187 263 www.sane.org
Suicide Call Back Service
1300 659 467
1800 55 1800 www.kidshelpline.com.au
1300 789 978
1800 184 527
Open Arms – Veterans and Families Counselling
1800 011 046
Head to Health
R U OK?
Embrace Multicultural Mental Health
Connecting with friends
Meeting new people or making new friends can be difficult at any age. But finding an activity or playing a game together that can help 'break the ice' is often a great way to start.
Connecting with other people is often the foundation to happiness and so making the time to do something silly and getting to know each other is worthwhile (and great holiday fun).
Marshmallow and pasta tower
Try the Marshmallow and Pasta Tower challenge to build a tower from marshmallows and spaghetti. Divide into teams or work as a mini team using dry spaghetti and a pack of large marshmallows to build the tallest free-standing tower in 5 minutes.
The team with the tallest tower is the winning team. If all towers are the same height, the team that can move their tower across the room without it breaking or collapsing, wins the game.
Each person needs to use chopsticks to transfer the contents from one small bowl to another. Smarties, sultana, cereal, mini marshmallows, dried peas are perfect.
Start the clock, watch out for sneaky snacking (especially if using smarties) and GO.
Each person gets a piece of paper to write down the letters of the alphabet down one column and next to each they need to write a food that starts with each letter. One point for each answer. Triple points for letter q, u, x, y, z. (There are a few x foods like Xigua-an African watermelon and xylocarp-a fruit similar to coconut.)
You can time it and try and beat the clock, you can play while driving or walking by calling out your answers, or try playing it in teams as charades.
Crack a Smile
In pairs, take turns at trying to get their partner to “crack a smile” without touching them. The partners should change roles once they make their partner smile. If you are playing in a group, mix the pairs up and try your luck with another person. Who is the funniest person in your group?
Two Truths and a Lie
Each person needs to share two facts and one 'fib' with the group. You can write these down, and as a group read them out and try and guess what's the truth and what's been made up - or you can ask each person to say their three in any order, and see if you can pick the lie.
This or That?
This is a fast-paced game. It works best if you have your choices already prepared. Some of the answers will make you want to ask more and find out why they chose what they chose.
Here are a few examples to start with:
- Morning or evening?
- Cats or dogs?
- Pizza or Thai?
- Beaches or bush?
- Talking or listening?
- Movies or Netflix?
- Bright colours or pastels?
- Inside or outside?
- Relaxing or adventure holidays?
- Text or email?
- Sweet or savoury?