You do not need to be in crisis or dealing with a serious problem to access a counsellor.
Counselling and Wellbeing Services
JCU Counselling and Wellbeing Service is a free and confidential service provided to students enrolled at JCU. The Service is provided by highly qualified Counsellors with backgrounds and experience in Psychology, Social Work, Counselling and Occupational Therapy.
Appointments are available Monday to Friday between 9am to 3pm and can be offered by phone, Zoom (online video call software) or face to face on either the JCU Cairns, Nguma-bada campus, Smithfield or JCU Townsville, Bebegu Yumba campus, Douglas.
Counsellors can assist you to build the skills and resilience to manage a variety of issues; Counsellors use short term counselling models, which can assist you with a variety of issues including:
Loss and grief
Life crises and traumas
Study and academic issues
Counsellors can 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.
Your first interaction with our Service may be through a Student Information and Support Officer who will ask you a number of questions to ensure we are the best service for you and ascertain the type of inquiry. They may suggest other appropriate options for you, including other services on campus, visiting your local doctor or contacting a relevant service in the community.
If you are new to Counselling and Wellbeing, or you haven’t connected with the Service in the last six months, your first interaction with a Counsellor will be via a phone intake call. Your intake call will take up to 25 minutes and allow you and the Counsellor to identify how our Service may be able to support you, appropriate internal or external referrals and the provision of information and resources for your individual needs.
If the outcome of your intake phone call is a referral to one of our Counsellors, you will be able to access up to ten counselling sessions. After this time there will be review of your case and additional sessions will be possible in some circumstances. Counselling sessions are usually 50 minutes in duration and can be offered by phone, Zoom or face to face.
We maintain confidentiality and will not disclose the information you provide your Counsellor without your permission, unless law requires us or there are compelling reasons such as significant risk to yourself or someone else. If you are unsure about this or have further questions about confidentiality, please discuss with our Student Information and Support Officer or your Counsellor. The JCU Counselling and Wellbeing Service operations according to the Australian Psychological Society (APS) Code of Ethics. To find a copy of our Service Management and Confidentiality statement please click here.
To help us provide the best services to all our students, please keep track of your appointments and make sure you're aware of the information below.
Appointment confirmation and reminders: you will receive an email to your JCU email when an appointment is booked confirming the date, time and location of the appointment (phone, Zoom or face to face). You will also receive a reminder email two days prior to your appointment with similar details. If at any point you realise you are no longer able to attend your appointment, please contact the Student Equity and Wellbeing Unit to cancel or reschedule.
Notice of cancellation: if you fail to attend an appointment, it's likely that you will have denied another student the opportunity to see a counsellor. Let us know as soon as possible if you need to cancel or reschedule. If you don't provide 24 hours’ notice of cancellation, you will be considered to have missed your appointment. Please note that repeated absenteeism from booked appointments may impact on our capacity to reschedule further appointments.
Late arrivals: if you arrive later than 10 minutes after the start of your appointment, we will consider you to have missed your appointment. Your session may be given to another student. For phone or Zoom appointments, the Counsellor will attempt to contact you twice. If you are likely to be late for your appointment please contact the Student Equity and Wellbeing Unit to discuss.
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. In this situation it is best to seek supporting documentation from a professional practitioner who has been seeing you for a period of time (i.e. your GP or external mental health support), or provide any other documentation that shows evidence of your circumstances.
A JCU Counsellor can only provide a Counsellor’s certificate / letter to students who:
Have an ongoing therapeutic relationship with the JCU Counselling and Wellbeing Service
During consultation are assessed by a Counsellor to have sufficient need for supporting documentation
Are assessed by a Counsellor with an acute and/or serious condition (students may be linked into an appropriate health care provider who will be able to provide further documentation)
JCU Counselling and Wellbeing services are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm. If you need urgent support outside these hours please contact one of the community services below. If you are in urgent or life-critical need of assistance please contact 000 (Police, Fire and Ambulance).