Quick Exit

HOW CAN I MAKE AN APPOINTMENT?

A:

To make an enquiry please contact Meridian Wellbeing Services on 6257 2855, via email at [email protected] or complete our Self-Referral or Client Referral Form.

Self-Referral Form

Client Referral Form

AM I ELIGIBLE FOR YOUR SERVICES?

A:

Counselling is available to all members of the LGBTIQ+ community and their allies over the age of 15 years, regardless of difference, gender, sexual orientation, lifestyle choice, cultural background, religious belief or economic circumstances.

We are funded to provide free counselling for people living with HIV or impacted by HIV. Counselling services are also free to those holding a valid Centrelink concession card or Healthcare card.

If you don’t have a Centrelink Concession or Healthcare card then we have a low cost fee-for-service model that is based on your annual income. Your Counsellor will discuss affordability with you at your first appointment.

The fee is not subject to rebate through Medicare

Inclusive Pathways – Psychology and Social Work

We also have a free program of psychology and social work services if you meet the eligibility criteria below:

  • You identify as LGBTIQ+ or exploring or questioning your identity
  • You are 16 years of age or over
  • You Live/work/study in the ACT
  • You have a Mental Health Treatment Plan

WHAT HAPPENS AT MY FIRST APPOINTMENT?

A:

We understand that, for a lot of people, taking the first step of attending a counselling or psychology appointment can be stressful or intimidating.
In your first session we will:

  • Get to know each other and ensure you feel safe and supported
  • Talk about the session, including confidentiality and safety
  • Get a little bit of background information and begin a conversation about what has brought you to the service and how we can help support you
  • Do a lot of listening to understand your unique circumstances and lived experience

WHAT ARE MY RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES AS A CLIENT OF YOUR SERVICE?

A:

Click here for a list of your rights and responsibilities.

There is also a poster detailing this information displayed in the waiting area of our service.

WHAT’S THE COST?

A:

Counselling

We are funded to provide free counselling for people living with HIV or impacted by HIV. Counselling services are also free to those holding a valid Centrelink concession or healthcare card.

If you don’t have a healthcare card then we have a low cost fee-for-service model that is based on your annual income. Your Counsellor will discuss affordability with you during your first appointment.

The fee is not subject to rebate through Medicare.

Inclusive Pathways – Psychology and Social Work

Inclusive Pathways is a free program of psychology and social work services if you meet the eligibility criteria below:

  • You identify as LGBTIQ+ or exploring or questioning your identity
  • You are 16 years of age or over
  • You Live/work/study in the ACT
  • You have a Mental Health Treatment Plan

DO YOU ONLY SEE PEOPLE FACE-TO-FACE?

A:

If you are able to come in for face-to-face support this is preferred, however we realise this is not always possible. We provide online support via Zoom video conferencing on request.

To ensure your safety and the safety of the clinician, you will need to agree to certain conditions regarding Zoom sessions.

A copy of our Zoom Protocol can be found here.

WHAT INFORMATION WILL I NEED TO PROVIDE AT MY FIRST APPOINTMENT?

A:

At your first appointment, you will need to complete a New Client Information Form including basic demographic details and information that will help us support you, such as your pronouns, gender identity and an emergency contact person.

We will also ask you to consent to Meridian holding your details in confidence and as per the Privacy Act. Some data that does not identify you in any way is also requested.

ARE THE APPOINTMENTS CONFIDENTIAL?

A:

Absolutely – we take your privacy very seriously.

The only times we would divulge that you are one of our clients are:

  • With your consent to facilitate referral to a new service or clinician
  • If there is an imminent risk to your safety or the safety of someone around you. Even then we would only speak to the emergency contact you provided at intake or an appropriate service that could assist you

We keep limited information on file to assist us with delivering the best service possible to you.
For some programs we also ask for your consent to share basic and limited de-identified data with the ACT government who funds the program.

WHAT ARE YOUR COVID PRECAUTIONS?

A:

Our COVID precautions are in line with ACT government requirements – this includes a QR code for you to use to check-in to our premises, provision of hand sanitiser and recommendations for social distancing. You are welcome to wear a mask when at Meridian although this is not mandated.

IS THERE A WAITLIST?

A:

We try our best to avoid long waitlists however demand for our services means that a waitlist commonly exists.

When you are enquiring about booking an appointment we will give you our best indication of the length of time for the waitlist.

CAN I CONTACT MERIDIAN WELLBEING SERVICES IN A CRISIS OR EMERGENCY?

A:

Meridian Wellbeing Services is not a crisis or emergency service, we are an appointment-based, normal business hours service.

IN AN EMERGENCY – ALWAYS CALL 000

 

   
 

Meridian Wellbeing Services is not a crisis service.
We are an appointment-based service and we only respond to phone calls and emails during normal business hours - 9:00am to 4:00pm, Monday - Friday.

If you, or someone you know is in crisis please call the numbers below:
In an emergency always contact 000.
Access Mental Health open 24/7 | (02) 6205 1065 or 1800 184 527
QLife: Open 3pm - Midnight | 1800 184 527 | qlife.org.au
Lifeline: Open 24/7 | 13 11 14 | lifeline.org.au
Domestic Violence Crisis Service: Open 24/7 | (02) 6280 0900 | dvcs.org.au

For those under the age of 25, there are also the following services available:
Kids Helpline: Open 24/7 | 1800 551 800 | kidshelpline.com.au
Eheadspace: 1800 650 890 | headspace.org.au/eheadspace/

 
   

 

 

WHAT AM I ABLE TO TALK ABOUT?

A:

Our mental health professionals are committed to providing a safe, non-judgmental and inclusive therapeutic environment. Many of our staff are peers and all our mental health professionals are experienced working in therapeutic settings with the LGBTIQ+ community.

You can talk to us about absolutely everything that’s going on for you including anything that is impacting your wellbeing. We commonly talk to people about:

  • Sexuality
  • Coming out
  • Living with HIV or being impacted by HIV
  • Relationship issues
  • Trans and gender diversity
  • Sex and sexual health
  • Stigma and discrimination
  • Other community-focused issues

DO I NEED A REFERRAL?

A:

We accept both self-referrals and external referrals from other service providers.

There are eligibility requirements such as age that we will need to discuss with you at intake.

DO I NEED A MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT PLAN?

A:

For counselling, no you do not need a Mental Health Treatment Plan.

For Inclusive Pathways (Psychology and Social Work), yes you do need a Mental Health Treatment Plan.

If you face any barriers in obtaining a Mental Health Treatment Plan we can support you to get one.

WHAT IF I DON’T LIKE THE PERSON THAT I SEE?

A:

Sometimes you may not connect with the first clinician that you see – we understand this can happen.

We welcome your thoughts on the type of mental health professional that might work better for you and we can look for an alternative.

WHAT IF I DON’T LIKE THE THERAPY OR THE STYLE?

A:

Sometimes you may not connect with the therapy or the style of therapy being provided – we understand this can happen.

We do our best to find something that works for your needs and commonly this means a mix of styles and approaches that can be adjusted at each session or at your request. We do not prescribe one type of therapeutic approach.

We welcome your thoughts on the type of therapy and style that might work better for you and we can easily look to try an alternative.

CAN I GET A MEDICAL CERTIFICATE?

A:

While we do not provide medical certificates, we can complete a Certificate of Attendance for you on request.

DO RECORDS OF MY APPOINTMENTS GET SHARED WITH ANYONE ELSE?

A:

No, your record of appointments and client notes are held confidentially and securely.

Your written informed consent is required to provide details for other services.

DO ALL CLIENTS PAY A FEE?

A:

We are funded by the ACT government to provide free counselling for people living with HIV and people directly impacted by HIV including partners and family members.

Clients with a Centrelink concession or Healthcare card also receive counselling free.

Psychology and Social Work services are free based on eligibility requirements such as age and your having obtained a Mental Health Treatment Plan.

WHAT IF I CAN’T AFFORD IT?

A:

We are committed to ensuring that your financial circumstances do not disadvantage you or determine your access to counselling. An appropriate fee for your circumstances can be discussed with your Counsellor at your first appointment, and you can talk about this during any of your subsequent appointments.

WHEN DO I PAY AND HOW DO I PAY?

A:

Payment for counselling sessions are made at the reception counter at the end of each session.

We accept cash or credit card and will issue you with a receipt.

If your appointment has taken place remotely (via Zoom) we will send you an invoice after the session for payment via direct bank transfer.

WHAT IF I NEED TO CANCEL OR CHANGE AN APPOINTMENT?

A:

When possible, please provide 24 hours’ notice to change or cancel appointments in order to ensure we can re-schedule the appointment to a time that suits you and allow other clients and community members access to newly available appointment times.

To do this you are welcome to reach out to your clinician directly or contact Meridian on 02 6257 2855 or [email protected]

WHAT HAPPENS IF I MISS AN APPOINTMENT OR DO NOT SHOW UP?

A:

We understand that on some occasions it may be difficult to attend your appointment. If you are unable to attend an appointment for any reason, please advise us as soon as possible, so that another client can be offered the time slot.

Meridian Wellbeing Services – 02 6257 2855 or email [email protected]

If you miss your appointment, we will attempt to contact you to rebook a suitable alternative time. If we cannot reach you, then please contact us directly to re-book, which may include adding you to a waitlist. The maximum number of appointments that you can miss without notification is two.


Meridian acknowledges Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders both past and present.

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