If you are a survivor of sexual assault or abuse, we understand you may be having a difficult time. If you require assistance, it’s important to know that a number of organisations are available to provide you with support and counselling.
Psychology and Social Work
Counselling can be provided by a whole range of professionals and services. It is commonly provided by private practice psychologists and mental health social workers. To assist with costs, Medicare rebates are available for treatment by registered psychologists and social workers under the Australian Government's Better Access to Mental Health Care initiative.
To be eligible to receive these services under Medicare, your GP must complete a Mental Health Care Plan for you. It’s recommended that you speak to your GP about your eligibility to claim Medicare benefits as they make treatment far more affordable if you are eligible. For Health Care Card holders, some psychologists and social workers will bulk bill. Alternatively, if you have private health insurance, this may assist with the cost of counselling. A GP can also refer you to an appropriate psychologist or social worker in your area.
Telephone and web-based support
Not everyone wants or needs to see a psychologist or social worker but may benefit from being able to call and talk to a telephone support or counselling service from time to time. The benefit of these services is that they are available 24/7 and may be less daunting for someone to access. They also provide very good resources and support information on their websites.
Lifeline: 13 11 14, https://www.lifeline.org.au/
Lifeline provides free, 24-hour Telephone Crisis Support service across Australia 7 days per week.
BeyondBlue: 1300 224 636; https://www.beyondblue.org.au/home
BeyondBlue provides free calls and chats, one-on-one with a trained mental health professional for crisis support and counselling. Calls are available 24-hours, 7 days per week. The online chat service is available 3pm – 12 am 7 days per week.
MensLine Australia: 1300 789 978; https://mensline.org.au/
MensLine Australia is a telephone and online counselling service for men with emotional health and relationship concerns. The service is provided by qualified counsellors and is available 24/7.
Headspace: 1800 650 890; https://headspace.org.au/
Headspace provides mental health support for people aged 12 to 25 years and also information and services to family and carers to support a young person going through a difficult time. The telephone and online support services are staffed by experienced youth mental health professionals.
Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800; https://kidshelpline.com.au/
Kids Helpline provides free, private and confidential 24/7 phone and online counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25 years.
Blue Knot Foundation 1300 657 380; https://www.blueknot.org.au/
Blue Knot has a specific focus on assisting people who have experienced childhood trauma. Blue Knot Helpline trauma counsellors can provide free counselling support. This service is available Monday – Sunday between 9am - 5pm AEDT.
Bravehearts 1800 272 831; https://bravehearts.org.au/
Bravehearts’ national Information and Support Line can be accessed by anyone wanting information or support relating to child sexual assault and exploitation. The Support Line is open from 8:30am to 4:30pm Monday to Friday AEST (Please note hours vary on public holidays).