Counselling and career development services - Personal counselling and wellbeing

Personal counselling and wellbeing

TAFE NSW wants you to get the most out of your learning experience, but sometimes personal matters can affect your well being and interfere with your ability to learn and complete assessments. That is why TAFE NSW offers free counselling about education and careers to current and future students.

You can often just drop in and talk to someone or you can make appointments with TAFE Counsellors at any of our locations. Counselling services are usually provided in one-to-one sessions at TAFE NSW locations, but telephone or suitable video conferencing can be arranged in those locations or situations where it may be difficult to make it in to see a counsellor face to face. Staff will take the time to listen to your needs and work with you to come up with strategies to help you. You can talk confidentially about all kinds of situations knowing your privacy* will be respected. TAFE Counsellors can help you with situations and personal matters, such as:

  • anxiety, stress and depression;
  • health;
  • disability support;
  • referral to Aboriginal education options and assistance;
  • support options for students from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds;
  • relationships and conflict management;
  • domestic violence and other forms of abuse;
  • alcohol and other drug use
  • educational difficulties;
  • planning goals and achieving outcomes;
  • study skills;
  • time management and work-life-study balance;
  • goal setting;
  • improving self-confidence;
  • harassment and complaints;
  • overcoming personal and learning challenges that may be interfering with study;
  • navigating life transitions, such as returning to the workforce;
  • financial and accomodation stress;
  • referral for financial assistance (e.g. Centrelink, scholarships); and
  • referral to other services (e.g. employment, legal, medical, accommodation and financial services).

Some campuses arrange course information sessions and other group programs to assist students with career choice, study skills, exam techniques and stress management. Some campuses offer both day and evening services and have bilingual counsellors who can assist students in a number of other languages**.

TAFE Counsellors maintain networks with community and government agencies in the areas of education, health, welfare, law, disability, ethnicity, etc. These networks help the counsellors obtain information and/or make referrals for specialist assistance.

External and urgent assistance

As a student at TAFE NSW, you have the ability to access TAFE Counsellors for urgent same day assistance. However, TAFE NSW counselling services have limited hours of operation and so it is important to know who you can call in an emergency, particularly after hours. You can find out more information about this by contacting your local TAFE NSW.

If you feel unsafe and need urgent assistance for a mental health issue, call the Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511. The Mental Health Line is a state-wide, 24-hour mental health telephone access service. Anyone can use the Mental Health Line to speak with a mental health professional and be directed to care in their local area.

For urgent matters where you are at imminent risk of harm, or for people in life-threatening situations, please call 000 to receive immediate help. Alternatively, go directly to your nearest hospital emergency department.

We encourage you to speak with your local TAFE Counsellor if you need help with referrals to mental health services. where your health concerns are impacting on your studies, TAFE Counsellors can also help refer you to a Disability Consultant to arrange educational assistance.

If you are experiencing mental health concerns, it is recommended that you seek professional help (e.g. GP, Psychologist) and not rely on the internet alone.

The Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467) provides crisis counselling to people at risk of suicide, carers for someone who is suicidal and those bereaved by suicide, 24 hours per day 7 days a week across Australia.

Lifeline also offers a 24 hour telephone counselling service, which provides crisis support, and can be contacted on 13 11 14.


*N.B. The TAFE NSW Counselling and Career Development Service is a free and confidential service. However, TAFE Counsellors are bound by legislative responsibility and need to provide information when requested to do so. This could apply to the following circumstances:

  • if your life is in danger or at serious risk of harm;
  • if someone else’s life is in danger or at serious risk of harm; and/or
  • if your counsellor is required, by law, to disclose information. For example: taking action to protect a child or young person from serious harm or responding to a court subpoena (request for copies of) relevant records.

**N.B. If you need to speak with a counsellor in your own language, please notify your campus counselling service. You may be able to be referred to another counsellor who speaks your preferred language.