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Fitzroy Student Hub: Counselling

Student counselling service

Your campus provides free and confidential counselling to all face-to-face and online students enrolled in Australia. This non-judgmental service does not diagnose; we only listen and help you explore areas of concern and work on strategies that can assist you.

Attending counselling does not mean there is anything wrong with you; it simply provides a confidential and neutral place to freely express your needs and concerns. Counselling sessions are not registered on your academic record.

Counselling is simply a place to get some support and assistance that will help you get through your studies.

Common reasons for seeking counselling

  • Feeling isolated, stressed, or unmotivated
  • Cultural issues and adjusting to change
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Managing stress and anxiety
  • Handling loneliness or lack of support
  • Loss and grief
  • Sexual identity
  • Home sickness; missing your family and friends
  • Concerns with work or study
  • Personal development and wellbeing
  • Discover and strive toward full potential
  • Low mood
  • Violence and abuse in a relationship
  • Feeling lost or stuck?
  • Lack of confidence, self-esteem, or body image
  • Coping with a crisis
  • Procrastination and study issues
  • Balancing commitments
  • Dealing with family and relationship issues
  • Just needing someone neutral and independent to talk to

Further information


Q. Do I need a referral?

A. No, you do not need a referral. Contact your campus counsellor to make an appointment.

Q. How often do I need to come to counselling?

A. This is an individual decision andis worked outwith your counsellor.Together you will work out the most appropriate type of counselling and sessions required.

Q. How much will counselling cost me?

A. Counselling on campus is free for all studentsenrolled in Australia.

Q. How do I know if I need counselling?

You can often tell if someone close to you isn't coping with a situation. At the same time, it's easy to tell yourself you're coping just fine even if you're not. Counselling can help you if you:

  • Are unsure how to deal with an issue
  • You have tried to deal with the problem on your own but haven’t succeeded
  • Are feeling confused and want some help making a difficult decision
  • Feel you have no one else to talk to

Counselling can help you see the problem from a different point of view. It is easy to get caught up in a problem and believe there is no way out. Counselling will help you see a problem objectively and find solutions that you may not have thought of.

Q, What are the benefits of counselling?
  • Gain a clearer understanding of the problem
  • Better manage your workload
  • Learn new coping strategies to work through problems
  • Break through negative behaviour patterns
  • Have a life which you can more fully enjoy
  • Develop self-awareness and understandingof yourself and others

Tools and resources

  • Headspace 
    National youth mental health foundation dedicated to improving the wellbeing of young Australians.
  • Smiling Mind
    Smiling Mind offers a unique web and app-based tool to help bring balance to people's lives.
  • beyondblue
    beyondblue provides information and support to help everyone in Australia achieve their best possible mental health, whatever their age and wherever they live.

7 ways to ease an anxious mind

We've all experienced anxious thoughts at some point. But, we rarely take time to actually stop and do something to ease our anxieties. Here are some tips:

7 ways to ease an anxious mind

Mood Mission

This iPhone app is designed to assist you with managing anxiety, stress and low moods.

Download the app

Workshops and seminars

SafeTALK workshop

Friday 3rd August, 2018

8:30am to 12pm
Room FS-3.18, Flinders St campus
Register at

safeTALK is a half-day alertness workshop, open to students and staff of Laureate, Torrens and Think colleges, that helps to prepare people regardless of prior experience or training, to become a suicide-alert helper. Suicide affects people from all walks of life and the more it can be discussed, the more we can make a change. This training aims at giving you important tools to help you to recognise when someone is in need and take action by connecting them with appropriate intervention resources.

At the training you will learn to:

  • Notice and respond to situations in which thoughts of suicide may be present.
  • Apply basic TALK steps (Tell, Ask, Listen & KeepSafe).
  • Connect the person with thoughts of suicide first aid help and further community resources.

Please note: the course does contain some highly emotive content and may raise some difficult issues for people. The 3 1/2 hours is relatively content heavy and therefore doesn’t provide a lot of room for debriefing about issues raised for individuals within the session. There will be members of the Counselling Services Team on hand at the training if any support is needed during or after the training.

OCD & Anxiety Disorders Week 2018: Community Education Seminar

Saturday 4th August

Presented by ARCVic

Anxiety and Children Morning session: 9.30am to 12pm

  • Anxiety and Autism - Jasmine Loo & Cassandra Murphy
  • Exploring School Refusal in School Aged Individuals - Rachel Yeo & Melissa White
  • Anxiety Aware Classrooms - Brendan O-Connell
  • A Personal Story – Anil

Anxiety and Adults Afternoon session: 1.30pm to 5pm

  • Anxiety and Perfectionism - Dr Maja Nedeljkovic
  • Why Self-Compassion is an Essential Foundation for Emotional Health and Well-Being - Dr Jo Fraser
  • A Personal Story – Erin Bateman (Married at First Sight – Season 2)
  • Anxiety, Stress and Mindfulness - Rachel Kable

In case of emergency

For after hours assistance contact:

  • Lifeline on 13 11 14;
  • your doctor; or
  • the emergency department at your local hospital; or
  • emergency 000.

Your counsellors

Vanessa Bryden-Jones

Permanent campus counsellor

Previously graduated:
Master in Psychotherapy, Diploma in Welfare and Community Development.

What motivates me:
Spending time to support people to gain an understanding into their own world, help devise creative solutions and seeing them more at ease within their present moment. I also try to be mindful during my days - not always successful, but it's definitely a motivation.

How do I unwind:
Spend time with mates, eat good food, lazy days reading and watching a favourite crime/comedy series, meditate, the moments after leaving the gym and all of the above as much as I possibly can = very relaxed!

Cora Clough

Previously graduated:
Bachelor of Applied Social Science – Human Resource Management

Currently studying:
Bachelor of Applied Social Science – Counselling

What motivates me:
Creating positive change, learning new skills and information, working in a meaningful profession, and helping others to overcome the challenges of daily living.

How do I unwind:
Beach walks, meditating, reading, gym, watching comedy movies at the cinema and spending time with friends and family.

Eamon Hannah

Previously graduated:
Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology and Forensic Science) at Swinburne University
Graduate Diploma of Psychology at Deakin University

Currently studying:
Master of Professional Psychology at Cairnmillar Institute

What motivates me:
I'm inspired by people - watching them flourish, overcome, and create. I like to challenge myself to learn more, to always be open to opportunities to increase skills or gain experience.

How do I unwind:
I enjoy gaming with friends - both video games and board games, going to gigs, going to the footy, and try my best to get to the gym or yoga a couple of times a week. Also patting as many dogs as I can possibly get my hands on.

Suzanne Sharp

Previously graduated:
Bachelor of Planning and Design
Bachelor of Architecture (Hons)
Grad Dip in Therapeutic Arts Practice
Currently studying:
Masters of Counselling and Psychotherapy
What motivates me:
Connection, creativity and compassion and the many forms they take.
Beauty that isn’t obvious straight away, that you need to slow down to notice.
How do I unwind:
Hanging out with people I love (usually involves food), walking my dogs, yoga, art, cinema, theatre, reading, meditating.
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