You do not need to be in crisis or dealing with a serious problem to access a counsellor.
JCU counselling is a free, confidential service for all enrolled students, provided in a safe and supportive environment.
You can have your counselling session face to face, on the phone or via Skype and can discuss issues and difficulties that could interfere with your study. It can help you build strengths, improve wellbeing and achieve academic success.
Counsellors can provide you with relevant information and assist you to build the skills and resilience to manage a variety of issues, including:
- Low mood
- Loss and grief
- Assessment support
- Equity (e.g. harassment or discrimination)
Student Wellbeing Counsellors offer short-term, solution focused outcomes to help you overcome challenges. They will help you to understand and cope with a range of issues and help you to develop solutions to make changes to your life. They can provide support to assist you to keep well, as well as support you during a crisis. Student Wellbeing Counsellors are independent, good listeners, and do not blame or pass judgement. All appointments are confidential.
Student Wellbeing Counsellors can also help you explore alternatives so you can make the best possible decisions for yourself. They can suggest relevant resources and tools that may be of use to you. They are knowledgeable about university processes, such as special consideration, and have close links with other JCU services. They can also refer you internally or to external providers if required to meet your individual support needs.
You may be referred to, or have an appointment with one of our senior counsellors who are experts in human emotions, behaviour and mental processes.
Senior Counsellors are registered with the Psychology Board of Australia and abide by the Australian Psychological Society (APS) code of ethics. They can support you in making changes and do this with a range of evidence-based strategies. They also have close connections with JCU services, academic and professional staff and the wider community.
What to expect
You will likely speak with a Student Support Officer when you first book or arrive for your counselling appointment. They will help determine if counselling is the best option for you. They may suggest other options, such as visiting another service on campus, visiting your GP or doctor, or contacting a relevant community service.
Please be on time for your appointment. If you are more than 15 minutes late we will reschedule your appointment.
Counselling sessions generally take about 50 minutes. Prior to your first appointment, you will be asked to complete a brief intake form. The information you provide will be treated with appropriate confidentiality and will help us to provide you with the support you need.
There will usually be a short wait time for your appointment. While you are waiting you can access information sheets, tips and advice from our Resources library.
To reschedule or cancel your appointment time we require at least 24 hours notice. This allows us to offer all available appointments to other students who may be waiting.
Managing issues with assessment
Sometimes things get difficult. If you are thinking about asking for an extension or special consideration for an assessment item, speak directly to your lecturer as soon as possible to let them know there is an issue. The issue could be resolved at this point.
Sometimes your lecturer may ask you to provide supporting documentation or evidence of your circumstances. If you are considering applying for special consideration for your exams, or even deferring your exams, you will also need to provide supporting documentation.
Seek supporting documentation from a professional practitioner who has been seeing you for a period of time, or provide any other documentation that shows evidence of your circumstances.
If you have been seeing a general practitioner, psychologist, counsellor, social worker or other practitioner regarding your circumstances, speak to them about providing supporting documentation. If you have been an ongoing client of a JCU Student Equity and Wellbeing counsellor, they may also be able to provide supporting documentation.
In circumstances where there has been an unexpected event or situation and you are unable to source documentation from an external practitioner, a Student Equity and Wellbeing counsellor may be able to provide documentation. As part of their assessment they will want to see any available documentation you have that is relevant to your circumstances.
Remember, any documentation that you have that shows evidence of your circumstances can be used as your primary documentation. You can also provide a statutory declaration.
For more specific information about exam deferrals and special consideration see Deferring exams or applying for special consideration.