Friday, January 21st, 2011 - The Australian Counselling Association Inc (ACA)
Australian Counselling Association Inc

Flood Victims Free Access to Counselling Services

The Australian Counselling Association Inc (ACA) has committed to ensuring all victims, their family members and flood workers have access to early-intervention mental health services.

ACA has established a national register of qualified and registered counsellors who are offering their professional services at no cost.

According to Philip Armstrong ACA CEO, “It is imperative that all those who have been impacted on by the recent floods in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania have easy and direct access to early-intervention mental health services without the need to physically source these services.” Mr Armstrong went on to say, “Particularly in the case of those who have been immediately impacted on by the floods and are unlikely to have the resources to seek out appropriate services, it is easier for us to make them readily available and at least minimise one burden for them.”

Only fully qualified and registered counsellors are listed on the register to ensure that the emotional integrity of those accessing the register is protected. Counselling is a self-regulated industry and, as anyone can call themselves a counsellor, victims may find themselves seeking help from inappropriately qualified counsellors who are not accountable to a peak body such as ACA and who may not actually have any training.

There is no requirement for anyone who wishes to access the register to have a referral and all services are free apart from the cost of the telephone call. The free service is being delivered by telephone to enable easy access and to ensure that geography and lack of mobility are not barriers to accessing important mental health services such as these.

Mr Armstrong pointed out, “The need for mental health services is going to be a long-term need and although some non-government organisations have despatched counsellors to some of the worst-hit flood areas, many victims will have the need to seek services long after these volunteers have left. It is also important that those victims who are staying with relatives and friends are able to access services without having to travel and telephone counselling is the best option in cases such as these.”

The register also contains some information about trauma and talking to children about disasters such as these.

The register can be found at www.theaca.net.au or you can call 1300 784 333 from anywhere in Australia to find your nearest counsellor.

Media Contact: Philip Armstrong 0402 206 906
or ACA National Office 1300 784 333

Contact Profile

The Australian Counselling Association Inc (ACA)


The Australian Counselling Association Inc (ACA) has committed to ensuring all victims, their family members and flood workers have access to early-intervention mental health services.

The ACA is primarily concerned with national registration, industry standards, creating employment for counsellors, Medicare & health fund rebates and formal recognition of counselling as an Allied Health profession. ACA is an independent association that offers member services and benefits second to none. ACA is the "voice of counsellors".


Philip Armstrong
P: 0402 206 906
M: 0402 206 906
W: www.theaca.net.au/

Keywords

Flood Victims Free Access to Counselling Services. Australian Flood Phone Counselling Services Register.

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