Counselling services

Counselling services

We provide a range of services to improve your wellbeing and help you reach your potential during your studies.

Please note that due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we are still available for support and offering over the phone and online interventions for students.

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MQ Wellbeing is the app that can help you achieve balance in your life. Keep track of your wellbeing with tools designed to monitor your habits, connect with the MQ community and reach your potential. MQ Wellbeing provides you with ongoing support, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and connects you with opportunities that support your success at Macquarie and beyond. Please note in the support section of the app, there is a dedicated area called "Coronavirus (COVID-19) help". A quick guide is available here.

Our services are available to all currently enrolled Macquarie University students.
Services include:

  • short-term solution focused counselling
  • cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
  • mindfulness
  • short to medium term psychotherapy
  • referral to specialist services outside of Macquarie University
  • On the day brief phone appointments are available Monday to Friday during business hours for urgent or immediate support.

If you need help or support please complete the request for Counselling and Psychological Services form. To enrol in our online courses UniWellbeing and WellbeingWISE.

Contact Student Wellbeing

Phone: (02) 9850 7497


Ground Floor, Australian Hearing Hub
16 University Avenue
Macquarie University
North Ryde NSW 2109

Opening Hours: 

Monday to Friday - 8:30am to 5:30pm (excluding public holidays).

Sexual Assault and Harassment Support

If you require support in regards to Sexual Assault/Harassment, please refer to the Respect. Now. Always. Support website for useful support information.

You are also welcome to contact Student Wellbeing (16 University Ave, Australian Hearing Hub, Ground Floor) on 02 9850 7497 or


Starting up at MQ

Transitioning to University is often difficult. University life presents a number of new challenges and often marks a significant change from previous routines. It comes with a wide range of new responsibilities, pressures and expectations both internally and (often) externally imposed. And making it harder is often the feeling that everyone else has it figured out and you are the only one finding things difficult, overwhelming, confusing, frustrating, enraging, infuriating, depressing, anxiety inducing, sleep disrupting, etc. While I’m sure some people hit the ground running at University, many do not. And if you find it difficult, you are not alone.

There are many resources, tips, guides, blogs available for helping students transition well to Uni. Much of the advice is useful and valuable such as staying organized, keeping a schedule, setting realistic expectations. Here, I mention a few additional things that I’ve repeated to many students over the years that might be helpful. Not all of this advice is applicable to everyone – e.g., international students face their own additional set of trials and tribulations – but hopefully some of this is useful to a few of you:

  1. Take it slow

    The pressure I felt to speed through my University degree was, looking back, intense. I remember the often repeated phrase amongst peers that the most important thing was to get through University as fast as possible and out into the ‘real world’. University is not a sprint and you are under enough pressure without adding a stop-watch to everything. Take your time, be curious, learn to enjoy learning, and allow yourself the kindness of changing directions when a path you’re on no longer feels right. If that means switching degrees, reducing your study load, or taking time off and away from study when life outside of University needs more attention, do that. There is always time. Finding out what you value is more important than racing through. University will wait. As will the ‘real world’ after Uni.

  2. Be present

    There is so much more to University than study, lectures and academic learning. University is a place for finding your people and developing your sense of self. Engaging in student life through activities, clubs and other resources can be hugely enriching. Or, if you are less keen on the structured social activities side, just try to be part of the culture, place and vibe of the University. This could be as simple spending some extra time at University before or after class without running straight back to the car/bus. Maybe find a quiet place to sit, be present, and take things in such as by people watching, reading, listen to music. Take advantage of the library and the facilities and the spaces on campus. Universities are wonderfully inclusive places – find a place for yourself, if you want.

  3. Ask for help

    Really, ask for help. While the University can seem like a daunting institution at times, there are many kind, intelligent, patient, caring and wonderfully brilliant and passionate people who are a part of tertiary education. If you are struggling mentally, physically, psychologically, reach out and ask for help. I was not aware of the various support services Universities offer (see but by taking that step and asking for help, advice, guidance or support, all things can be managed. University degrees often take several years to complete and life outside of University will continue around you. Try to acknowledge when you are finding things difficult or confusing and ask for help from peers or from University support services. Because the help is there.

  4. Read things, and get advice from important others
    Read the course Unit Guide, always – know what’s coming in terms of assessments and exams. But in addition to that, there are many resources to help transition into Uni and with making the most of University life when you’re here. Talk to family and friends about how they managed the transition to University. Collect the pieces of advice you find useful and follow the parts you value in your own way.

General questions about counselling

How can counselling help me?

Psychological interventions and supports are provided to help students improve wellbeing, build their strengths, identify their values/goals, and achieve academic success.

Common issues we treat and provide support for are:

  • stress
  • anxiety and panic attacks
  • low mood or depression
  • relationship issues
  • academic issues
  • procrastination
  • grief and loss
  • difficulties adjusting to change (i.e. transition to Australia or university study)

What is the quality of your service?

Our interventions are evidence-based and supported by best practice. All counsellors are registered psychologists, or provisional psychologists under the supervision of a registered psychologist.

What services are NOT provided?

We do not provide psychological testing for neuropsychological conditions.

We do not provide psychological reports for:

  • visa applications
  • motor vehicle accident
  • victims compensation
  • workers compensation claims,
  • other medico-legal reports.

We do not provide treatments funded by these claims.

Privacy Information - how is my information stored?

Student Wellbeing and Support Services (Student Wellbeing) offers a range of services to students at Macquarie University. These include medical services, counselling services (for students who may need support in personal, emotional or psychological matters), welfare services (for students who need support in relation to academic or financial matters or other matters of day-to-day student life), disability support services (for students who need support with temporary or permanent disabilities) and advocacy and support services.

Collection and Retention of Information

When a person seeks support or service from Student Wellbeing information is collected and retained. The information we collect depends on the services you need, but generally information such as your name, contact details and other information relevant to the services you need, such as your enrolment and course information along with health information. Where it is relevant to the services you need, we may collect information, which is sensitive, such as information about your racial or ethnic origins or your religious beliefs or affiliations.

When accessing one of our health related services (for example, GP services or counselling services) we may collect information about your health, including your medical history and information about health care you have received. We may also collect your Medicare card number, if you receive a 'bulk-billed' service. If you need disability support services, we will collect information about your health or your disability, or if you are a carer information regarding you, your relationship to the person being cared for and the health or disability of the person being cared for.

Information is generally collected directly from you. However, information may be obtained from other people - such as Macquarie University staff members when necessary, or other health professionals involved in your health care - with your consent. Verification of information may also be sought in line with the University's fraud prevention requirements.

Providing personal information to the Student Wellbeing is voluntary. However, if we cannot collect personal information about you, we may be unable to provide you with certain services. If you are concerned about Student Wellbeing collecting your personal information, you must notify us prior to accessing any support or service offered by Student Wellbeing.

Use of Information 

Student Wellbeing collects your personal and or health information in order to provide you with the services you have sought from us. For example, if you are a patient of the medical service, we collect your personal and health information in order to provide you with safe and effective health care. If you have sought disability support services, we collect your personal and health information in order to facilitate your access to support and services to manage your disability on campus and through your studies.

Disclosure of Information

If you are a patient or client of the medical service or the counselling service, we will not disclose your personal and health information to any other person except:

  • where you have consented or asked us to do so;
  • where disclosure is necessary to lessen or prevent a threat to your life, health or safety, or the life, health or safety of another person; or
  • where disclosure is otherwise required or authorised by law.

If you have sought other services from the Student Wellbeing, we will disclose your information where you have consented or asked us to do so. For example, if you have asked us to provide assistance or support in managing a disability, information may be shared in accordance with the Disability Support Procedure or where not covered by this procedure, with your consent.

Your personal information may be disclosed in response to a subpoena or other legal order or obligation.

Student Wellbeing handles your personal information in accordance with the Macquarie University Privacy Compliance Framework. Please visit the Privacy Framework webpage for more information about how your information is managed as well as information on how to access information stored about you, complaints, and otherwise.

What is UniWellbeing?

The UniWellbeing Course is a convenient and effective alternative to face-to-face counselling.

The course is entirely online, so you do not need to attend face-to-face appointments or workshops. The Course involves 4 brief lessons and runs for 5 weeks, with new Courses starting around every 2 weeks. You have access to resources covering issues commonly experienced by students (e.g. sleep, problem solving, assertiveness and procrastination) and case studies of previous participants that make the course easy to relate to.

Additionally, you are provided with access to a Student Wellbeing Psychologist, who will provide support throughout the course via telephone or a secure messaging system.

Why UniWellbeing?

Many students find this program helps them to build essential skills for maintaining good emotional wellbeing (managing stress, anxiety, low mood and depression), while fitting around their busy lives and schedules. You can access the course anywhere you have internet access 24/7. Importantly, the course is being developed in close collaboration with students, with more than 90% saying it was worth their time and they would recommend it.

What to expect?

The lessons take 20-30 minutes to read and are accompanied with a do-it-yourself guide, which explains how to work through the skills you are learning.

Just as with learning anything, practice is essential, therefore it is recommended that you spend around 15-20 minutes per day working on the skills and integrating them into your daily routine.

A 10-15 minute call with the psychologist running the course occurs weekly. The aim of the call is to help guide you through the course, answer any questions you might have and talk through how to apply the skills to your own situation.

How to register?

Complete a UniWellbeing Self-Referral Form and you will be contacted within 72 hours regarding your participation.

What is WellbeingWISE?

An online portal developed to assist students and focuses on equipping you with skills, knowledge and resources that will assist you through your studies. Click here to access the WellbeingWISE portal.

Appointment questions

Do I have to pay?

The Counselling and Psychological Services does not charge any out-of-pocket expenses to students. However, all students must present a valid Medicare card or Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) card.

What happens after my first appointment?

Your psychologist will discuss with you a treatment plan. If it is identified that more than three sessions are needed in a given year, you will require a mental health care plan and a General Practitioner doctor (GP) referral to continue to receive psychological services.

Who can give me a mental health care plan and referral?

GPs and psychiatrists are able to develop a mental health care plan and provide you with a referral to our Counselling Service.

What if I don’t have a regular doctor or psychiatrist?

If you do not have a regular doctor, there is a medical service on campus.

When making a doctor’s appointment, please inform staff that you will need a longer consultation. This will allow the doctor enough time to complete your plan and/or referral for psychological care and support

Why do I need a mental health care plan?

We practice coordinated care, which ensures that all aspects of your health are considered when assessing and planning for your wellbeing.

In order to access more than three counselling sessions each year, we receive rebates from Medicare under a mental health care plan. This is a Government funding requirement of psychological services under Medicare.

For overseas students, OSHC requires either a GP referral letter or a GP mental health care plan.

Medicare/OSHC covers the cost of up to 10 sessions of counselling per calendar year, after assessment and referral.

Which documents do I need to bring?

Once you have a GP referral or a mental health care plan, please hand it to the Student Wellbeing reception staff before your next counselling appointment.

Your GP can also fax them directly to (02) 9475 1037.

If we do not have a copy of your plan, your next appointment may be shortened or unable to proceed.

What if I miss my appointment(s)?

Please let us know if you cannot attend an appointment.

An SMS reminder will be sent to you the night before. You can reply to this SMS to confirm or cancel your appointment.

Clients who do not attend two or more sessions without proper cancellation will have following appointments reduced by 30mins. The return to full length appointments will need to be discussed with your psychologist.

The information on this website is intended as a general summary and should not be relied upon by any person as a substitute for professional assessment, advice, counselling or treatment. The University accepts no liability for any loss or damage suffered by a person relying on information on this website or any other to which it is linked.

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