Which mental health charity should I donate to?

Updated June 26, 2019. Subscribe now to stay informed


In Australia, mental illness is extremely common. In fact, 45% of Australians aged 16-85 years have at some point in their lifetime experienced a mental disorder.* We all know the possible consequences of not treating mental illness. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in Australia and in 2016 alone, 2,862 people died from intentional self-harm.**

This review will help you decide which mental health charities are worth supporting to help improve these statistics. Who demonstrates that they will use your donation to improve the lives of those suffering from mental illness?

The Good Cause Co. have evaluated some of Australia’s largest mental health charities to help answer this question: Beyond Blue, Headspace, Black Dog Institute, Batyr and Lifeline Australia.

Who is the best?

Beyond Blue achieves our highest recommendation, “Donate with Confidence”. They work to “promote good mental health, create change to protect everyone’s mental health and improve the lives of individuals, families and communities affected by depression, anxiety and suicide”. On all accounts we believe Beyond Blue are a trustworthy charity that demonstrates they are effective at achieving this mission.

What about the others?

Headspace, Black Dog Institute and Batyr all achieve our “Donate” recommendation. These three charities focus on supporting those with mental illness in different ways:

  • Black Dog Institute are a research institute that enable “mentally healthier lives through innovations in science, medicine, education, public policy and knowledge translation.”

  • Batyr deliver mental health awareness programs to schools, universities and work places to ensure young people reach out for support when needed.

  • Headspace offer ongoing treatment. They focus on providing ongoing mental health services to young people through the use of physical and online help centres.

  • Lifeline Australia provide crisis support. They provide 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.

We believe these charities are trustworthy and are likely to be effective at achieving their mission, but should take additional steps in order for us to have complete confidence in their work.


Still not sure which charity is right for you? Contact us and we will help guide you in the right direction.


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The Good Cause Co.’s “Should I Give To…” provides independent evaluations of Australia’s largest charities. Our reviews are comprehensive and consider both the trustworthiness and effectiveness of each charity. We update our recommendations annually to ensure we provide relevant advice. We do this to help you feel confident about giving.

*Source: ABS (2010) 1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2009–10 Feature Article 2: Mental Health. Available at: http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/1301.0Chapter11082009–10

** Source:  ABS (2017). 3303.0 - Causes of Death, Australia, 2016. Available at: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/3303.0~2016~Main%20Features~Intentional%20self-harm:%20key%20characteristics~7