What to do while waiting for counselling
Demand for counselling appointments can be high at certain times in the semester and after your call with the Duty Worker you may be placed on a waiting list for an appointment.
While waiting, we have created a handy list of things you can do to potentially help your mental health while waiting for your appointment.
Try not to isolate yourself from others. Talk to someone that you trust about what is going on for you. Try to avoid spending time with people who are emotionally draining.
Physical activity can improve your mood, helps reduce stress, and helps with sleep. Something is better than nothing. Get out into the open and breathe in some fresh air and enjoy the outdoors and nature. Get some direct sunlight each day with a gentle walk as this can improve mood and help with sleep.
Eat and drink
Drink lots of water and eat more wholefoods like fruit and vegetables. Try to reduce your intake of processed foods, alcohol, coffee and other substances as these can impact negatively on your mood and sleep.
Following a daily routine can help with your mood, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Try eating, sleeping and exercising at regular times.
Negative thoughts naturally arise when you are feeling vulnerable or you feel you’re struggling with things and our thoughts and emotions are intimately connected. Try to view your negative thoughts as a sign that you are stressed and that you need to take care of yourself. Try not to believe your negative thoughts at face value. Unfortunately they feel more believable when you’re feeling low, but ultimately… Thoughts are just mental events and are not facts. Be curious about the negative thoughts that arise and the sorts of themes that manifest. Write them down; make a record of them, and then discuss them in your counselling session.
Activities that lift your spirits! Engage in activities that you enjoy and that uplift you and avoid activities that feed into a negative state of mind. This may mean avoiding movies or music that strengthen the feelings you are struggling with, whether that’s anxiety, anger or sadness.
Useful contacts and more support
- La Trobe University Crisis Line for Out-of-Hours Mental Health and Wellbeing Support - Free and confidential after-hours telephone counselling for La Trobe students on 1300 146 307 or text 0488 884 100
(5pm - 9am weekdays and 24 hours weekends and public holidays).
- Safer Community - If you have any concerns about unacceptable behaviours including racism or any form of discrimination, you can seek advice and support from our Safer Community service.
- Lifeline – For anyone experiencing a personal crisis, 24 hours a day 13 11 14.
- Beyond Blue – Depression & anxiety related; 24/7 telephone counselling on 1300 224 636; online support also available through chat and email.
- Headspace – (25 or younger) telephone counselling on 1800 650 890; online support also available through chat and email.
- Switchboard – for LGBTIQA+ specific support and referral
- Suicide call back line - 1300 659 467
- Direct Line (drug and alcohol) - call 1800 888 236 (information and referral)
- Mental health/Psychiatric Triage - Call your local area mental health service (psych triage) for information, assessment and referral. They are usually the first point of contact for people seeking a specialist mental health response and will identify the urgency and nature of response required. Search by suburb
- Nurse on call - 1300 60 60 24
- Sexual Assault Crisis Line - 1800 806 292 (counselling 5.00pm - 9.00am weekdays and 24hrs weekends and public holidays)
- Orange Door - A free service for adults, children and young people who are experiencing or have experienced family violence AND for families who need extra support with the care of children.
- Homelessness - 1800 825 955. If you are experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless and need help to find housing or support, you can call this number from anywhere in Victoria and they will link you to your local homelessness access point.