If life in danger call Triple Zero 000
If life in danger call Triple Zero 000

Living with a disability

“Living with a disability is not a tragedy it’s just another way of being; and knowing you have support in different areas of life is really important to navigate the somewhat challenging times you may face in your experience as someone living with a disability.” Johanna, 28 years

Around 4.3 million Australians are living with a disability. People living with a disability contribute to and make our society what it is today, and as such will experience the usual ups and downs of life. For some people, living with a disability may impact their mental health and wellbeing.

Carers are people who provide unpaid care and support to family members and friends who have a disability, mental illness or a chronic condition. There are over 2.7 million people who are caring for others in Australia. As a result of this help and support, carers may also experience impacts to their own wellbeing.

Experiences and signs you or someone you care for may need support:

  • Irritability, anger and mood swings

  • Feeling helpless or hopeless

  • Withdrawal from family, friends or activities

  • Increased alcohol use and other substances

  • Changes to sleep or eating habits

  • Low mood and feelings of worthlessness

  • Thoughts of suicide

  • Feeling disconnected from others and loneliness

  • Financial strain or concern

If you, or someone you care for is in need of support, please call Lifeline to speak to a trained Crisis Supporter on 13 11 14 (24 hours / 7 days) or text Lifeline on 0477 13 11 14 (24 hours / 7 days) or chat online (24 hours / 7 days). We are here to listen.

Support services and resources


The NDIS can provide people living with a disability and their carers with information and connections to services in their communities such as doctors, sporting clubs, support groups, libraries and schools, as well as information about what support is provided by each state and territory government.

Visit: NDIS

Disability Gateway

The Disability Gateway has information and services to help people with disability, their family, friends and carers, to find the support they need in Australia.

Visit: Disability Gateway website

National Disability Services (NDS)

National Disability Services (NDS) is Australia's peak body for non-government disability service organisations, representing around 1200 non-government service providers. Collectively, NDS members operate several thousand services for Australians with all types of disability.

Visit: National Disability Services

Carers Australia

Carers Australia is the national peak body representing Australia’s unpaid carers, advocating on their behalf to influence policies and services at a national level. It works collaboratively with partners and its member organisations, the Network of state and territory Carers Associations, to deliver a range of essential national carer services.

Visit: Carers Australia

Holding on to Hope - Erik's Story

'Life', says athlete Erik Horrie, 'is full of if only's, if only his mum had chosen a different partner. If only he'd driven through that intersection two seconds later. If only the hospital hadn't confused him with another patient.' But along with the bad decisions that have shaped his life, there have been good ones from the moment he fell in love with partner Michelle, to the birth of his children and the night a Lifeline volunteer recognised Erik was in crisis.