Westlund Counselling is dedicated to providing you with a professional, inclusive, accessible and non-judgemental counselling experience. We’re here for LGBTIQ people in Canberra, their families and their allies.

We know how important it is to research your options, so to find out more about Westlund Counselling, the values and practices that underpin our service check out the answers to some common questions below.

Keen to find out more? Contact our team by hitting the ‘Enquire Now’ button on our website, by email to counselling@aidsaction.org.au or by phone to 02 6257 2855 during business hours. Our team will be happy to answer your questions.

Westlund Counselling is the ACT’s leading community-based counselling service for LGBTIQ clients and their allies. Westlund Counselling values the unique lived experience of every member of the LGBTIQ community and their allies. Our team provides confidential, short term counselling for LGBTIQ people seeking support in relation to their mental health and wellbeing.

Our Counsellors are committed to providing a safe, nonjudgmental and inclusive therapeutic environment. Many of our staff are peers and all counsellors are qualified, competent, trained and experienced working in therapeutic settings with the LGBTIQ community.

Westlund Counselling specialises in support around:
• sexuality
• coming out
• relationship issues
• trans, gender diversity and intersex experiences
• sexual health
• stigma and discrimination

Counselling is available to all members of the LGBTIQ community and their allies over the age of 15 years, regardless of difference, gender, sexual orientation, lifestyle choice, cultural background, religious belief or economic circumstances.

Westlund Counselling staff apply a holistic and integrated therapeutic approach, which is guided by the unique needs of the client – not the client having to fit a particular way of working. We will work with you to find the most empathic, comfortable and effective mode that suits you and whatever issue you are working on.

We understand that for a lot of people, taking the first step of attending a counselling appointment can be stressful or intimidating.

In your first session we will:
• get to know each other and ensure you feel safe and supported.
• talk about the session including confidentiality and safety.
• get a little bit of background and open up a conversation about what has brought you to counselling,
• and, essentially do a lot of listening to understand your unique circumstances.

To make an appointment, please contact:
02 6257 2855 or 0412 882 855 or email counselling@aidsaction.org.au and we will reply within two business days.

Westlund Counselling is not a crisis service. If you, or someone you know, is in crisis please call:
• QLife 1800 184 527
• Lifeline 13 11 14
• Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
• Mental Health Crisis Service 1800 629 354

An appointment will be made for you as soon as a counsellor is available. Generally, we will have a counsellor call you with an appointment time for the following week.

If you are able to come in for face-to-face counselling this is preferred, however, we realise this is not always possible. We provide online counselling via Zoom Video conferencing on request. This platform is available via desktop or mobile. You can speak to Westlund Counselling staff to find out more about this.

At your first appointment you will need to complete a Client Details Form including basic demographic details and information that will help us help you such as how you identify your gender (if at all). You will also need to consent to the AIDS Action Council (on behalf of Westlund Counselling) holding these details in confidence for the purpose in which they were provided.

Sometimes you may not connect with your initial counsellor – we understand this can happen. You can discuss this with a Westlund Counselling team member by calling 02 6257 2855 during business hours. We would welcome your thoughts on the type of counsellor that might work better for you and we can look for an alternative counsellor.

Counselling sessions run for 50 minutes to 1 hour.

We do not provide medical certificates. We can provide a Certificate of Attendance, on request.

A GP issued mental health plan will generally focus on a referral for a Medicare rebated appointment with a Psychologist. If counselling works better for you, then absolutely we can be part of this plan. It would be important for you to tell your GP that we are part of your mental health team.

Please talk to your counsellor about supporting documentation we can provide that is tailored to your unique circumstances.

No, your record of appointments and client notes are strictly held confidentially and securely. Your written informed consent is required to provide details for other services.

We know affordability can be a barrier for people looking to attend counselling. Westlund Counselling uses a sliding scale fee structure, calculated based on income to ensure equity of access. The fee structure is calculated at $1 per $1000 of annual income, paid per session capped at $120 per session. Clients with a Centrelink concession or health care card are free. People living with or directly impacted by HIV are provided free counselling with the AIDS Action Council. To find out more about this, click here.

The fee is not subject to rebate through Medicare.

No. People living with HIV and people directly impacted by HIV (partners and family) do not pay a fee and are funded by the ACT Government to receive counselling through the AIDS Action Council. Clients with a Centrelink concession or health care card also receive counselling free.

We are committed to ensuring that your financial circumstances do not disadvantage or determine your access to counselling; an appropriate fee for your circumstances can be discussed with our staff prior to your first appointment, and you can talk about this during any of your subsequent appointments.

Payment for sessions can be made at the reception counter at the end of each session. We accept cash or credit card and will issue you with a receipt.

When possible please provide 24 hours’ notice and call 02 6257 2855 or 0412 882 855 or email counselling@aidsaction.org.au to advise of changes and cancellations. This will give us an opportunity to reschedule your appointment to a time that suits you, and allow other clients and community members to fill any gaps in the schedule.

Enquire Now

We welcome self referrals to our service, in addition to referrals from medical practitioners and other professionals.

To refer clients to Westlund Counselling, or to the AIDS Action Council Client Services team, simply submit your information and a member of our team will be in touch.

Client confidentiality is of utmost important to us. You do not need to provide your full name upon referral, just a valid phone or email for us to contact you on.

If you are a medical practitioner wishing to refer a patient or client please use our Referral Form.