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Enhancing Mental Health Support in Schools

Providing timely access to headspace counselling services.

The Enhancing Mental Health Support in Schools (EMHSS) initiative helps Victorian government secondary students access free face-to-face and phone counselling services, delivered by headspace.


headspace counselling and related services are available through EMHSS to students who:

  • agree for a referral to occur on their behalf, or refer themselves;
  • are enrolled at a Victorian government secondary school at the time of their referral; and
  • are experiencing mild to moderate mental health issues.


Students in Victorian government secondary schools can access EMHSS-supported counselling by being referred by a contact person in their school. This is the preferred referral method.

Victorian government secondary school students may alternatively self-refer, or be referred by a parent or guardian, but will need to provide headspace some contact information for their school. This ensures schools can manage a student’s absence for counselling during school hours, and coordinate other support and care.

More information about the referral and consent process is here:

Face-to-face sessions

Clinicians deliver face-to-face EMHSS counselling sessions, telehealth appointments, and other services via participating headspace centres located across Victoria.

Appointments can be made during normal business hours and may occur during a school day.

In-school phone counselling

Students in government schools in rural, regional, and remote areas can access EMHSS-supported phone counselling.

This service helps students who can’t easily access face-to-face counselling. It is generally provided for those in Victorian government schools more than 50km from a headspace centre.

Schools should provide counselling rooms that are private, safe, quiet, comfortable, and free of distractions, for appointments that occur during school hours.

Further information

More information about arranging a headspace service, providing consent, confidentiality matters and other EMHSS detail, is here:

Non-government school students

headspace counselling is also available to students in non-government schools, via a headspace centre. Sessions can be arranged directly with headspace via headspace National Youth Mental Health FoundationExternal Link .

Reviewed 08 September 2023


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