How can counselling help me or those who I care about?
You may have received information about counselling and psychological care if you:
- have accepted a redress offer from the National Redress Scheme, or
- indicated you would like to access counselling and psychological care services.
Counselling and psychological care is available to support you and those close to you; family, extended kin, close friends or connections which are family-like.
The service can help you and others manage stressful situations and overwhelming feelings or thoughts. We do this by matching you with an experienced practitioner or therapist in a confidential environment.
Support can include:
- exploring and addressing issues and concerns. For example, relationship difficulties, anxiety and depression, addictions and/or trauma symptoms and more
- understanding the impacts of past harmful experiences
- providing strategies to assist with improving your mental health and wellbeing.
Counselling and psychological care can help build your strength and resilience to assist with recovery from your experiences.
What counselling and psychological care services can be accessed?
There is a full range of counselling and psychological care service options available. You and others close to you can choose the services depending on your needs.
- counselling support from a psychologist, a specialist community service organisation or other mental health professional
- supportive group work
- alternative services are also available. These include supports such as therapeutic case management, animal assisted therapy, mind-body somatic therapy, art, music and dance therapy
- cultural healing for First Nations people.
If you are uncertain about what type of service will meet your needs, you can contact the National Redress Counselling and Psychological Care Service – Victoria and they can help you explore your options.
Who will deliver these services?
Victorian services are delivered by organisations, as well as private practitioners.
We understand it can take time to get to know a practitioner and to establish a comfortable and safe relationship with them.
You can change practitioner if they are not right for you or if you are not getting what you want out of it.
You can choose a practitioner that is right for you, or the service can help you find one.
If you would like to choose a practitioner:
- you can look up and access a list of qualified and experienced therapists through the public Trauma Support Directory Trauma Support Directory - HOME.
- if you are already seeing a therapist or practitioner you may be able to continue seeing them through the service. They will need to apply and be approved by the National Redress Counselling and Psychological Care Service – Victoria. If approved, your practitioner will need to send their invoices to the service for payment.
How many sessions can I receive and when?
It is up to you when you want to access counselling and psychological care.
You will have immediate access to a number of sessions but your practitioner can request more hours for you. To do this, they will need to contact the service and complete a form on your behalf.
Those close to you such as family, extended kin, close friendships, or connections which are family-like can access up to 20 sessions.
How much will it cost?
The service is of no cost to you.
Practitioners invoice the service directly for your sessions.
Your provider or therapist will need to send their invoices by email to the National Redress Counselling and Psychological Care Service – Victoria for payment. Your provider may ask you to co-sign a form to verify that you received counselling and psychological care services from them.
Support to access the service
The National Redress Counselling and Psychological Care Service – Victoria team is located within the Victorian Department of Families, Fairness and Housing. The service supports all Victorians who accept an offer of redress from the National Redress Scheme.
The service can help you:
- discuss your needs and what services are available to you
- find the right service for you
- find another therapist or practitioner if you are not happy with the one you have
- connect you with other support services you may need.
The service can be contacted on 1800 716 869 between 9 am and 5 pm, Monday to Friday. If you need an interpreter, you can call the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) on 131 450 then ask for 1800 716 869.
What information do I need to provide?
The service will collect the below information about you to help verify who you are:
- date of birth
- postcode and suburb
- unique Redress ID (found on your letter of offer)
- date you accepted your redress offer
- previous counselling and psychological care services you may have already received
- any other information you may wish to provide to help us to match you with the right support.
What if I have a complaint or am unhappy with my provider?
If you are unhappy with the counselling and psychological care you are receiving or feel there may be a better provider or service type, you can change at any time.
You can also make a formal complaint about your practitioner if you need to. This can be done through the relevant professional body for that practitioner. The service can tell you who the relevant professional body is for the counselling and psychological care provider that you wish to make a complaint about.
All counselling and psychological care providers with the service must be registered with a relevant professional body.
Apply for redress
If you are aged over 18 or will turn 18 before 30 June 2028 and experienced institutional child sexual abuse before 1 July 2018, you may be eligible to apply for redress. To apply for redress, contact the National Redress Scheme:
Phone: 1800 737 377
Operating hours: Monday to Friday, 8 am – 5 pm
Further helpful information
Free and confidential counselling and psychological care services are available to help you. If immediate assistance is required contact:
Beyond Blue – support for anxiety, depression and suicide prevention
Lifeline – crisis support and suicide prevention service
1800RESPECT – national domestic family and sexual violence counselling service
QLife – anonymous and free LGBTIQ+ peer support and referral
DirectLine – alcohol and drug counselling and referral in Victoria
Suicide Call Back Service – mental health counselling and suicide call back service
MensLine Australia – free help, referrals and counselling for men