A number of counselling and psychological services are available within Australia. Navigating around the services can be difficult and it is easy to get lost. We also find that many people do not understand the difference between the various providers and services on offer which makes it difficult when deciding who might be able to help. These links may help you understand the services and how to access them.

Understanding the difference between a psychologist, psychiatrist, counsellor and therapist

Psychologists, psychiatrists, counsellors and therapists commonly work in the area of mental health and wellbeing. However, there are significant differences between these professions. The Australian Psychological Society (APS) has FAQ site that explains the differences between the mental health providers. BeyondBlue also explain how one can get support.

Finding a psychologist or Mental Health service

Most referrals to psychologists are through a General Practitioner (GP) / Psychiatrist; or through an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). However many Australia psychologists in private practice also list their details on the Australian Psychological Society website.

Referrals to a psychologist by a GP or a Psychiatrist are usually through Mental Health Care Plan, (also referred to as Better Access). Under this referral system patients are able to utilise Medicare benefits to cover some or all of the costs of the psychological services.

Confidential counselling services for University staff and their immediate family members is also available through the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). This programme provides for up to six sessions with an EAP counsellor. On occasion, the EAP counsellor may refer staff back to their GP for a Mental Health Care Plan.

The UQ Psychology Clinic can assist with a range of psychological issues in children, adolescents, adults, older adults, couples, and families. Members of the public may contact the UQ Psychology Clinic directly to make an appointment. Special rates apply to students.

UQ students have access to free psychological counselling services through the Student Services. All currently enrolled UQ students are eligible for 6 free confidential sessions per year.

Queensland Health offers a range of mental health services and have a number of resources on their website.

Help Lines and eTherapy

Within Australia, there a few telephone counselling help lines. Generally the help lines are a single contact serves, and the counselling provided is by a volunteer. Most are available 24 hours a days, 7 days a week. In addition to the telephone service, many also have an online chat facility.  Lifeline and BeyondBlue both have the additional services of utilising the National Relay Service for people who are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment, and the Translating and Interpreting Service (TISN) for people who do not use English as their first language.

eTherapy usually refers to an online programme designed to provide assistance via the internet or a mobile phone application for people experience anxiety, depression or a related condition. eTherapy can be well-suited to people who have mild to moderate depression or anxiety.

Here are some of the more established services:

Lifeline 24-Hour Counselling - 13 11 14

Lifeline is a national charity providing Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services. 

Calls to this number are free if made from a mobile, and charged the cost of a local call if made from landline number.

Kids Help line - 1800 55 1800.

Kids Helpline is a free, private and confidential, phone counselling service specifically for young people aged between 5 and 25 years. Counselling can be via the telephone, web-based or email, and is available 24-hours a day, 7-days a week.

Mensline Australia - 1300 78 99 78

This is a telephone counselling service available 24 hours, 7 days a week, for men with relationship or family concerns.

BeyondBlue - 1300 22 4636

In addition to offering a number of resources about mental health related issues, BeyondBlue also offers a 24 hours, 7 days a week telephone counselling service, as well as an online chat service, online chats through community forums and an email service.

Diverse Voices - 1800 184 527

Diverse Voices is a Queensland based non-profit organisation with a focus on the wellbeing of the diverse voices that make up the gender and sexuality diverse community. Diverse Voices offers peer to peer telephone and internet counselling service. The service is available 7 days a week, from 3pm to midnight.

Suicide Call Back Service - 1300 659 457

Suicide Call Back Service provides free phone, video and online counselling for anyone affect by suicide. Not only does this service support people who are suicidal, it also supports people who are caring for someone who is suicidal or bereaved by suicide. The call is offered immediate assistance with the option to have up to six further telephone counselling sessions, with the same counsellor scheduled at suitable times.

MindSpot Clinic - 1800 61 44 34

MindSpot is an online and telephone counselling clinic providing free assessment and treatment services for Australian adults with anxiety or depression.

Centre for Clinical Intervention (CCI)

CCI is a specialist public mental health service that treats adults suffering from anxiety, depression and eating disorders, as well other services for Mental Health Professionals. CCI has information and resources about mental illnesses, as well as treatment programmes.

Mobile Phone App

More to come on this topic (17/1/2017)

In an emergency, call 000. If you are on campus, call Security on 53333.


Need more links? BeyondBlue have a website with links to more national help links and websites


For more information, or if you have any suggestions about other links that would be useful, please contact Felicity Couperthwaite.