It is normal for children to feel afraid or overwhelmed during these uncertain times and some stress and anxiety is to be expected. However, if you know a child who is finding the enforced adjustments to their lifestyle difficult or have concerns about returning to school, the Heartlinks counselling team is here to support them.
This service is aimed at school aged children, without a mental health diagnosis, who will benefit from a brief period of therapeutic support, generally three to six sessions, to assist them to overcome stress or anxiety resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thanks to funding provided by the Australian Government under the South Eastern Melbourne PHN (SEMPHN), Heartlinks of Family Life is able to provide these services, FREE of charge to children within the SEMPHN catchment.
A child attending school (excluding pre-school) or living within the following local government areas can access the service: Bayside, Glen Eira, Stonnington, Port Phillip, Dandenong, Casey, Cardinia, Kingston, Frankston and Mornington Peninsula. Priority access will be given to children aged 12 and under.
Anyone can make a referral to the service by contacting the SEMPHN Access and Referral Team. A GP referral is not required.
To learn more, phone SEMPHN on 1800 862 363 (8.30am-4.30pm weekdays) and ask about their “Family Life Covid-19 Program”.
Alternatively you can submit a referral to SEMPHN using their online referral form. Please note - in the 'Presenting Issues' section of the form include the program name, “Family Life Covid-19 Program” along with any presenting issues.
For more information about the SEMPHN Access and Referral team use this link www.semphn.org.au/resources/access
During the pandemic restrictions, all counselling will be provided via a secure, online, telehealth (video) platform or over the phone.
Face to Face counselling will recommence once it is legal and safe to do so. Heartlinks has consulting suites in Sandringham and Frankston. Telehealth will continue to be offered as an option.