What can I talk to a counsellor about?

Students attend counselling for many different reasons. You are free to talk with your counsellor about any issue affecting your academic or personal life. Common issues discussed with counsellors include:

  • Experiences of stress, anxiety and depression;
  • Difficulty keeping up with study;
  • Time management and motivation issues;
  • Concentration and procrastination issues,
  • Problems making friends or participating in tutorials or group work,
  • Worry about placements and practicums;
  • Managing study-work balance;
  • Eating or body image issues;
  • Financial difficulties;
  • Relationship and family issues;
  • Being away from home and family;
  • Addiction and substance abuse;
  • Traumatic events, abuse, loss and grief;
  • Impact of chronic or sudden illness;
  • Unexpected lifestyle circumstances;
  • Difficulty fulfilling personal or professional goals;
  • Loss of hope;
  • Self-harming behaviours;
  • Thoughts about wanting to die or suicide;
  • Unplanned or unexpected pregnancy;
  • Gender and sexuality issues;
  • Crisis or concerns about faith and spirituality;
  • Desire for change or growth.

When is the most helpful time to talk with a counsellor?

You can attend counselling at any time during the year. If you have been experiencing any of the following situations or symptoms for a period of more than two weeks we encourage you to talk with a Student Counsellor or your GP / Medical Doctor.

  • Struggling to keep up with your work or have failed a paper, exam or unit;
  • Experiencing low mood, depressive thoughts and a sense of not being able to shake off the blues;
  • Experiencing feelings of anxiety and worry that impact negatively on your day to day life;
  • Experiencing personal difficulties in your life and finding it difficult to cope;
  • Noticing behaviour changes that are causing you or others concern;
  • Experiencing uncomfortable and unwanted thoughts or emotions which are affecting your day to day life;
  • Experiencing stress or discomfort;
  • Finding relationships difficult or unsatisfying;
  • Not coping well in class, workplace learning, clinical placement, at home or at work;
  • Having a conflict of faith or values that is worrying you;
  • Wanting to make personal or professional changes to help achieve your goals;
  • Experiencing any thoughts of self-harm, wanting to die or suicide.

How to make an appointment

You can make a counselling appointment by:

  • Calling the Student Counselling Service located on the Fremantle Campus on +61 8 9433 0580 between 9am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday
  • Whilst these service are provided from the Fremantle Campus they are relevant and available free of charge to students enrolled in Broome
  • Appointments with the Counselling Service are conducted via telephone.

What do I need to make an appointment?

  • You must be an enrolled student.
  • Please have your student ID available so that our staff can make your appointment for you.
  • It is a good idea to have your calendar available to help you select a suitable time and place your appointment in your diary or calendar once it is confirmed.

What happens once I have made an appointment?

  • When you make an appointment you will be asked for your current contact details.
  • You will receive a confirmation email with your appointment date and time at your Notre Dame email address.
  • Please check the information in the email is correct, especially the contact phone number that a counselor will call you on to conduct the session, and take advantage of the suggested self-help strategies and resources attached.
  • The day before your appointment you will also receive a text message reminding you of your appointment.
  • If you do not want to receive texts or emails from the counselling service please inform staff when you make an appointment or your counsellor.
  • Please be available for your appointment 5 mins early.

What can I do while waiting for my appointment?

Sometimes you may have a short wait for your first appointment. If you feel comfortable to do so you could also speak with your trainer/assessor, the Head or Deputy Head of Campus or the Campus Minister for support and guidance. In addition, the following self-help strategies are designed to help you manage:

Take care of yourself

  • Establish a daily routine - work, sleep, recreation, etc.
  • Balance activity and rest - engage in moderation.
  • Engage in physical activity - walking, jogging, and yoga.
  • Maintain a healthy diet - reduce caffeine and sugar.
  • Avoid unhealthy habits - drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, etc.
  • Learn a relaxation strategy.
  • Take time out if you need to rest and refocus.
  • Practice spiritual and cultural values.

Get Support

  • Let someone know that you may need support.
  • Don't want to be alone? Ask a friend or family member to stay with you.
  • Surround yourself with people who are positive and care about you.
  • Accept that you may not be able to support others right now.
  • Say NO to unwanted demands.
  • You may be irritable but don't push away the people who care about you.
  • Do not assume that other people cannot cope with your difficulties.
  • Remember that there are people who are interested in your wellbeing.
  • Talk to our Campus Minister.

Use your thoughts to manage stress

  • Remind yourself you have managed difficult times before.
  • Set a small goal and reward yourself when completed.
  • Acknowledge your thoughts and feelings.
  • Say to yourself "This is how I feel right now and it is ok".
  • Remember your current thoughts and emotions don't define you.
  • Identify the problem and ask "What is making me feel like this?"
  • Think about how you want to manage this situation now.
  • Identify the facts and avoid "should have"/"could have" thinking.
  • Refrain from impulsive actions and ask for others opinions.

Don't give up

  • Don't give up - Focus on the positives in yourself and your life.
  • Reassure yourself - "I will get through this!"
  • Refrain from self-criticism and self-blame.
  • Do something each day that makes you feel competent or successful.
  • Pay attention to positive experiences.
  • Remember other times when you have solved a problem successfully.
  • Smile and laugh – smiling makes you and others feel better.
  • Pray and meditate.
  • Stop viewing distressing material on TV and avoid violent gaming.

What do I do if I need to change my appointment or cannot attend on the day?

  • Please notify us as soon as possible if you are unable to attend by phoning reception on +61 8 9433 0580.
  • You will receive an email notifying you of missed appointments.
  • You are most welcome to make another appointment if you missed an appointment for some reason.


  • The Student Counselling Service is staffed by professional Psychologists and Counsellors whose practice is governed by professional Codes of Ethics. This ensures that any information revealed by you in a counselling appointment remains confidential.
  • Information collected in counselling will only be disclosed to other parties, such as your faculty or an external medical service, with your prior written permission.
  • There are exceptions to confidentiality and these are:
    • Where a clear risk exists to your safety or the safety of others;
    • Where a court has subpoenaed records or requested that a counsellor be present a witness;
    • Where laws require mandatory disclosure of information.