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Current Students

Five important details about counselling

Knowing, understanding, and consenting to service

CDU Wellbeing support line

If you are ever experiencing distress and need to speak to someone urgently, contact CDU Wellbeing support line.


Ph: 1300 933 393 

SMS: 0488 884 144

Other options include:

Lifeline 13 11 14 

Mental Health Crisis Line 1800 011 511

Beyond Blue Support Line 1300 224 636

Present to your local hospital emergency department.

If it is an emergency, please call 000.

If you are not in Australia, please contact a mental health practitioner, doctor, support organisation or emergency service in the country where you are currently residing.(available 24/7)

This short-term counselling service aims to support current CDU students to be resilient and thrive during their studies. Your attendance at counselling is voluntary.

Your counsellors will also support your steps to accessing more intensive and ongoing support through another provider if required.

The five important details

You will be asked if you understand and agree to these terms prior to attending CDU Counselling.


1. About counselling

Counselling works best when clients attend their scheduled sessions and share as much as they are comfortable to share. We ask that you are:

  • on time to your sessions
  • advise of non-attendance with as much notice as possible
  • commit to identifying hopes, goals, and purpose of counselling with your counsellor.

Your counsellor will endeavour to create a space where you feel safe to share details about your current situation and how past experiences or worries about the future might be influencing your wellbeing. 

While counselling may provide significant benefits, it may also pose risks. Sessions might:

  • elicit uncomfortable thoughts and feelings
  • lead to the recall of troubling memories
  • evoke very strong feelings of anger, sadness, shame, or other difficult emotions.

This is a normal part of the counselling process, but it can sometimes be challenging. A safety plan can be helpful during these times. It puts all your coping tools in a series of steps to assist you to:

  • recognise your warning signs
  • make your surroundings safe 
  • remember the important things in your life that can help you feel strong 
  • identify people and places to connect with for emotional support
  • reach out to family and friends you can talk or yarn with access professional support.
2. Eligibility and referrals

While you are a student of CDU you are eligible for counselling services. As an alumna you can no longer access these services. 

Your counsellor might discontinue counselling and recommend alternative and external counselling services if your presenting concerns are not within the counsellor or counselling service's scope of practice. This is due to professional, ethical, and legal considerations, as well as duty of care to clients.

3. Special consideration, extensions and appeals

If you need a time extension on an assessment, special consideration, or want to appeal a final result, first speak with your lecturer and unit or course coordinators and follow the instructions provided on Learnline.

Through Access and Inclusion you can also obtain an Access Plan with reasonable adjustments to your study conditions if your studies are impacted by:

  • disability
  • medical and/or mental health condition (short term and/or long term)
  • primary care-giving of someone with a disability or ongoing health condition.

If you cannot resolve your concern, you can refer to the Complaints Policy - Students or contact the Complaints Management Unit for guidance.

CDU Counsellors offer emotional support to recover from distressing experiences that might lead to needing special considerations, and applying for extensions and appeals. You can also explore strategies to assist you to prepare, prevent, respond, and recover from any future challenges and distress with a counsellor.

In making requests for special considerations, extensions and appeals you will need supporting documentation (e.g., medical certificate, letter from employer, statutory declaration, copy of an accident report etc.). 

You will receive confirmation of attendance at your counselling appointments, which might contribute to documentation. It is not usual practice for CDU Counsellors to provide support letters, to assist in requests for special circumstances. This might be done only when a student, who regularly attends, or intends to regularly attend counselling, experiences unforeseen wellbeing challenges.

You can find current policies and procedures that CDU use to ensure all assessment requirements are met at  

Policies that might be relevant to your specific circumstances could include:

  • Enrolment Policy
  • Grading Policy
  • Higher Education Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure
  • Higher Education Examination Policy
  • VET Assessment Systems Policy
4. Confidentiality

Your counsellor will never discuss your therapy with any other individual outside of the CDU Counselling Team (Student Support), unless given prior permission by you (via another form).

  • What you discuss with the Counsellor will be recorded in counselling notes.
  • These records are confidential and can only be accessed by the Counselling Team and the Associate Director of Student Support Services.
  • The information contained in these records including your attendance will not be released to any parties without your consent.
  • If risk or safety issues are identified, the counsellors may need to release information to other parties to keep yourself or others safe.

Your counsellor is legally required to waive your confidentiality if they have reasonable cause to believe you may harm yourself or others, or there is an imminent threat of harm/danger to yourself, other adults and children, or CDU.

Your counsellor is also required by law to contact statutory services in your jurisdiction  if they have reasonable cause to believe a child or young person in your care may be at imminent risk of harm, or if there has been harm/imminent risk of harm in the past. 

In these circumstances, they will first endeavour to discuss with you the action they will be taking to ensure the safety of you and/or others. All efforts will be made to have this discussion with you in person, if it is safe and possible for them to do so. 

In the case of criminal matters involving you, your file may be subpoenaed by court and your counsellor is required by law to surrender it or by higher academic authority.

5. Privacy

In-person counselling will be conducted in counselling rooms. 

For zoom and phone appointments, your counsellor will be in a quiet, private space. Please ensure you have such a space to be in as well.

Audio or visual recordings of sessions will not be made by counsellors or clients.

For safety reasons, counselling will also not be offered while someone is driving a vehicle.

For your privacy, if you see each other in public, your counsellor will not acknowledge or engage you unless you choose to do so first.

In the event you are comfortable acknowledging your counsellor, your counsellor is happy to briefly say hello but will not introduce themselves to anyone you may be with, nor will they introduce you to anyone they may be with.

It is very important that no therapeutic discussion about counselling or your treatment takes place outside of your scheduled sessions. This includes via email or text message.  

From time to time, your counsellor will seek clinical supervision to better help you. This is anonymous and you will not be identified by name to the clinical supervisor.

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