2020 has been quite the year, particularly if you are an international student living in the City of Sydney.
For many, living and studying abroad is an exciting experience, however COVID-19 has no doubt had an impact on our lives in a way that no one quite expected or planned for.
At Radiant we understand that for some, the move to online learning, physical isolation, lack of job security, financial stress and uncertainty around when and how you can return home to see family and friends can feel overwhelming and upsetting.
It’s important to take care of yourself during this time. There are a number of services that can help you and your mental wellbeing, many of which are free, low cost and can easily be accessed online or in and around the City of Sydney.
Please keep in mind that the latest medical information is changing on a daily basis regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus). To stay up to date, visit the Department of Health’s website here.
The Mental Health Line is a free mobile service that you can access anywhere – it is available to everyone in NSW and operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
When you call, you will speak with a mental health professional who will ask you questions to determine if you or the person you are concerned about needs ongoing mental health care and how urgently it is needed. From there, they can put you in contact with the most relevant mental health support in your local area.
Call: 1800 011 511
Beyond Blue is Australia’s most well-known and visited mental health organisation, focused on supporting people who experience anxiety, depression and other mental health challenges.
Check out their website for information, advice and strategies to help you manage your wellbeing and mental health during this time.
Trained counsellors are available to provide advice and support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They offer phone support services, online web chat support services, and online community forums, so you can get the support you need where and how you need it.
Call: 1800 512 348
NewAccess was developed by Beyond Blue and is a free and confidential mental health coaching program for anyone feeling stressed or overwhelmed about everyday life issues such as work, study, relationships, health or loneliness.
After you have made an enquiry you will be contacted by the service provider in your area. They will explain the program and ask questions to better understand your needs and establish whether the program is a good match for you.
A NewAccess coach will then work alongside you for up to 5 sessions. They will help unpack and develop an understanding on what is troubling you and will then help you develop tools and strategies that you can use in your day-to-day life.
Call: 1800 010 630
Lifeline is a call centre dedicated to helping people who are experiencing challenges in their life by listening without judgement. They are a national Australian charity that provides 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention services and are committed to empowering you through connection, compassion and hope.
Call: 1800 011 511
If you think you might have a sexually transmissible infection (STI) you can visit the Sydney Sexual Health Clinic.
They provide free and confidential testing, treatment and care for people experiencing a STI or who are at risk of, or living with, HIV. If you think you might have been at risk for an STI or HIV you can complete the online risk assessment before giving them a call.
The Sydney Sexual Health Clinic and its services are free if you are:
- Showing STI symptoms
- Under 24 and showing no symptoms
- Over 24, and showing no symptoms but you know you have had contact with someone with infection
- Gay or bisexual
- Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
- A sex worker (they also have interpreter, and Mandarin and Thai speaking staff that can help)
- Participating in injected drug use.
Call: (02) 9382 7440
Location: Level 3, Nightingale Wing, Sydney Hospital, Macquarie St, Sydney NSW 2000
NSW Sexual Health Infolink
The Sexual Health Infolink is a NSW Ministry of Health funded telephone and online information and referral service. Their service specialises in HIV and STI risk assessment, testing, treatment and support. They also provide specialist support to nurses, doctors, counsellors and other professionals who are caring for people with sexual health problems.
Call the number below to ask any questions about HIV, STIs and sexual health. Free testing is available with a Medicare card, or private insurance, through any GP who bulk bills.
Call: 1800 451 624
Low- cost services
The Psychology Clinic at the University of New South Wales (UNSW)
The UNSW Psychology Clinic provides a broad range of clinical psychology services at a low cost. The clinicians at the Psychology Clinic are trainees completing their Master of Clinical Psychology at UNSW. The Psychology Clinic operates on a fee-for-service basis with fees being used to support the clinical, training and outreach activities of the clinic.
Call: (02) 9385 3042
Location: 8th floor of the Mathews Building on the Kensington campus of the University of New South Wales
Fee: $40 per 50-minute session (standard fee) or $20 per 50-minute session (reduced fee for full-time adult students & holders of government-issued concession cards)
Headspace Centres act as a one-stop-shop for young people who need help with mental health, physical health (including sexual health), alcohol and other drugs or work and study support. The centres are designed not just for young people but with them and so no two headspace centres are the same, with each offering unique services that reflect the needs of its local community.
For international students in the City of Sydney you can go to Headspace Camperdown, and access their services through using your Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) (see our post on how to claim using your OSHC).
For most students insured under Allianz your fees will be billed to Allianz OSHC directly and you won’t have to pay anything. If you’re with another OSHC provider, you may need to pay for your appointment then be reimbursed by your OSHC provider later. You may also need to get a referral from a General Practitioner (GP). Call your OSHC and find out if you are covered for psychology sessions, then contact Headspace Camperdown to chat about getting an appointment.
You can make an appointment between Monday-Friday between 9-5pm by calling 02 4627 9089 or emailing [email protected]
You can visit the Centre (Level 8/171-179 Queen Street, Campbelltown), check out the space and make an appointment with reception to come again and meet with a clinician.
Call: (02) 9114 4100
Location: Level 2, 97 Church Street, Camperdown, New South Wales 2050
The team at the Headspace Bondi Youth Reference Group have also developed a range of excellent material about the types of mental health supports available to international students. See here: https://headspace.org.au/headspace-centres/bondi-junction/international-students-information-pack/
The Psychology Clinic at the Australian College of Applied Psychology (ACAP)
The Psychology Clinic at ACAP is a not-for-profit psychology teaching clinic that offers a range of psychological services at a nominal fee or at no cost. Services are currently provided through TeleHealth services (over the phone) in response to COVID-19, however will return to face-to-face service delivery when it is safe to. The services provided by the ACAP Psychology Clinic are informed by current research and adhere to ethical and professional standards to ensure the quality of the services provided.
Call: (02) 8236 8070
Location: Level 11, 255 Elizabeth Street, Sydney, NSW Australia
Fee: No Standard Individual Consultation, Psychometric Assessment and Report Fees are charged for people who are full-time students or whose main source of income is an Australian Government pension or income support payment. Otherwise, the fees are:
Standard Individual Consultation – $20.00; Group enrolment fee* – $50.00; Psychometric assessment and report fee – $300.00
*There is a one-off enrolment fee of $50 that is payable on the first session of the corresponding group. Group sessions are free of charge.
The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Psychology Clinic
The UTS Psychology Clinic is a not-for-profit teaching and research clinic that provides quality services to the community at a low cost.
Services are provided by Provisional Psychologists in their final years of training (Year 5 and Year 6) under the supervision.
Call: (02) 9514 7339 or email [email protected].
Location: One Hundred Broadway Clinic, One Hundred Broadway (Corner Broadway and Abercrombie Streets), Ultimo NSW 2007
Fee: $25 per session. $12.50 for concession.
One Door Mental Health is a leading mental health service provider specialising in severe and persistent mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, psychosis, schizoaffective disorder, borderline personality disorder.
Through One Door people living with mental illness and their families can find an inclusive community, innovative services and advocacy support. For more than 30 years, One Door has designed and delivered expert mental health programs that are now accessible through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Call: 1800 843 539
This information is valid as of: 24 November, 2020. For the most up to date information on opening hours, fees and services available please see individual service websites.