Counselling and psychological services
Being a student presents a unique set of expectations and experiences that can have a significant impact on your wellbeing. If you are struggling with a personal, emotional and mental health difficulty, whether related to your studies or your life away from Swinburne, you can access our services.
Our goal is to help you address your concerns in a positive way by helping you to clarify the issues, explore options, develop strategies and increase self-awareness. For some, simply sharing their story with a professional helps.
All your sessions are kept private and confidential.
Our service consists of eight mental health nurses/clinicians, four psychiatrists and two clinical psychologists in Hawthorn, while Wantirna and Croydon campuses have one Social Worker each.
The team is committed to assist you in any mental health concern you may have, so you can continue to thrive and achieve your academic goals.
We will support you if you are experiencing:
- crisis – if you’re acutely distressed and needing immediate support on campus
- relationship and/ or family issues
- academic and general stress
- grief and loss
- loneliness and isolation
- depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
We offer comprehensive services run by our dedicated team of mental health clinicians with a range of specialities including:
- international and Aboriginal communities
- anxiety and depression
- sexual assault and sexual harassment
- domestic violence
Depending on your identified difficulties and needs, we can suggest strategies for dealing with your thoughts, feelings and emotions through individual counselling and group workshops such as Mindfulness.
Specialised psychological and psychiatric support may be needed to help you deal with a longstanding mental health difficulty. If you have longer-term mental health needs, you may also be eligible for further academic support. See AccessAbility for more information.
Specialist support services
Sexual assault and family violence
In partnership with the Eastern Centre for Sexual Assault (ECASA) and Eastern Domestic Violence Outreach Support (EDVOS), the following services support those impacted by sexual assault and sexual harassment. Support staff are available at the Hawthorn campus.
- ECASA trauma clinician: Free and confidential counselling and support is available for people who have experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment, recently or in the past.
- EDVOS specialist family violence service: A wide range of services available including developing a safety plan so you can remain in your own home, helping you to find a safe place to stay, helping you support your children (keep them safe and prioritise their wellbeing), and contact support services such as legal and financial.
Alchol and drug use
In partnership with Access Health and Community, a clinician is available at the Hawthorn campus.
- Alcohol and Drug Youth Support Clinician: Provides counselling and fosters recovery by providing support to reduce the harms of alcohol, medication and other drug use.
How to get help
All new and existing clients (that have not been seen in this calendar year) will need to complete the triage process before their first appointment.
A triage session will last for 20-25 minutes. This session is designed to provide you with crisis support (if you are acutely distressed) and get an overview of your situation and needs. This allows the triage clinician to assess your situation. At the end of the session, you will either be scheduled for your first counselling appointment or offered other suitable support (such as a referral to a specialist psychiatrist).
Triage sessions are available by appointment 9.30am - 4.30pm, Monday to Friday and are filled on a first come, first served basis. You should come to the clinic for this session, but phone triage or support may also be offered to you.
Please note: if you need further counselling, sessions may be with a different clinician than your triage session.
Swinburne Students generally incur no cost to access any of our services. For International students, some overseas health cover may require upfront fees that will later be reimbursed. Non-Swinburne students will incur a fee. Please contact reception if you have any questions about fees.
It is important that you give notice if you need to cancel an appointment with a mental health clinician, clinical psychologist and/or the psychiatrist so we can offer your appointment to another student in need.
If you fail to attend your initial counselling appointment without providing notification, you may be required to attend a triage session again if you wish to re-engage with our service.
If you cancel an appointment with a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist with less than 48 hours notice, you will be charged a $50 'no-show' fee.
You can arrange SMS reminders at the time of booking to be sure you don’t miss your appointment.
Swinburne out-of-hours crisis line
If you are in crisis, you can call the Swinburne out-of-hours- crisis line for immediate assistance:
The crisis line provides confidential phone support 24 hours a day on weekends and public holidays, and 5pm – 9am weekdays.
You can also call these numbers anytime for support in a crisis and help with suicide prevention: