Staff support & referring students

Counselling for enrolled VU students is a free and confidential service. We have services located at Footscray Park, Footscray Nicholson, St Albans, Sunshine, Werribee and City campuses.

Counselling services for staff are available through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

Referring students

Academic or teaching staff are often in the best position to recognise problems that students may be experiencing.

Students may disclose problems to staff, present in a distressed state, or staff may identify signs indicating problems, including:

  • poor academic performance or attendance
  • excessive requests for extensions
  • changes in behaviour or appearance (e.g. increasing dependence on you, decline in personal hygiene)
  • changes in mood (e.g. withdrawn, 'down').

All staff play a vital and proactive role in helping students adjust to University life and succeeding in their course, by supporting students and referring them to appropriate services.

Students may be referred to the counselling service as well as other student support staff working in the areas of:


Student support & safety referrals

In a situation where a student presents as distressed or at risk, and where there is a likelihood of self-harm or harm to others members of the university should follow the steps outlined in the Mental Health Crisis Flowchart to seek further assistance.

Members of the University should follow the steps outlined in the Student Safety Flowchart to seek further assistance.

After Hours Victoria University Mental Health Support Line

Monday to Friday, 4.30pm–9am. Weekends, 24/7.

The University Crisis Line is available to all enrolled students. Students can use the line to speak with a trained professional for support through a mental health crisis.

Phone: 1300 511 971
Or text: 0485 908 389

Safer Community

Safer Community provides advice, assistance and support to anyone who has experienced concerning, threatening or inappropriate behaviour.

Phone: +61 3 9919 5707

Special consideration

Students can apply for special consideration if their studies or assessments have been adversely affected by a serious, unexpected circumstance.

Students need to be advised to use the most appropriate person or service to support their application, such as a treating medical practitioner, non-VU counsellor, police report or court summons/subpoena. A VU counsellor can be consulted when the reason is a problem affecting the student’s psychological wellbeing or mental health. The counsellor will work to assist the student with the difficulty and may be able to support the special consideration application.

Orientation & group programs

Counsellors are available to speak to new groups of students about our services. This is a valuable way to connect with students during the orientation period.

Counselling staff possess skills and expertise in a range of areas related to student wellbeing and are also available to run group programs for your students on topics such as stress and time management, returning to study and peer support skills.

Contact Student Counselling and Accessibility Services to book an orientation session.

Staff counselling

Confidential and independent counselling and other services are available to all staff of Victoria University through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

As an employee you can access short-term assistance for work-related or personal issues affecting your ability to function at work. Some of these issue include:

  • conflict and tension – work and personal
  • organisational change
  • work-related or emotional stress
  • personal and career direction
  • relationship or family problems
  • grief and bereavement
  • alcohol and drug problems
  • gambling and financial problems
  • legal matters.

EAP consultants are available to help you work through any concerns or issues you may be facing, as well as facilitate referral to external support agencies for longer-term assistance.

EAP services are private and confidential. Everything discussed in the sessions is kept between you and the consultant you speak with, and your details will not be passed on to anyone at Victoria University.

Staff can ring the EAP provider on 1300 EAP AT VU or 1300 327 288. More information about the EAP is available on the EAP intranet (login required if offsite).

Other mental health counselling services - phone helpline & online chat services


  • 131 114 (local call) - 24 hours, 7 days telephone counselling service
  • Crisis support chat available 7pm – 4am (AEST) 7 days.

Suicide Helpline 1300 651 251 (local call)
24 hours, 7 days confidential telephone counselling, support and referral available throughout Victoria.

Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467 (local call)
24 hours, 7 days nationwide service that provides telephone and online counselling to people 15 years and over who are suicidal, caring for someone who is suicidal, bereaved by suicide, or are health professionals supporting people affected by suicide.

Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800 (free call)

  • 24 hours, 7 days free, confidential and anonymous, telephone counselling service specifically for young people aged between 5 and 25.
  • Online counselling service available from 8am - midnight.

1800RESPECT: Call 1800 RESPECT or 1800 737 732 (free call)
24 hours, 7 days national sexual assault, domestic family violence phone and online counselling service offering information and support.

Sexual Assault Crisis Line (SACL) 1800 806 292 (free call)
A state-wide, after-hours, confidential, telephone crisis counselling service for victim/survivors of both past and recent sexual assault. SACL operates between 5pm weeknights through to 9am the next day and throughout weekends and public holidays.

Gambling Help Online 1800 858 858 (free call)
24 hours, 7 days confidential helpline with counsellors to provide support for gambling related issues.

DirectLine 1800 888 236 (free call)
24 hours, 7 days confidential alcohol and drug counselling and referral in Victoria for all ages and backgrounds.

QLife 1800 184 527 (free call)
Counselling and referral service for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and/or intersex (LGBTI). Helps people of all ages across the full breadth of people’s bodies, genders, relationships, sexualities, and lived experiences. Phone support and online chat available from 3pm – 12am every day.