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Mum, Dad and their two sons are in their loungeroom hugging each other closely and smiling. Their son has Down syndrome.

Counselling and support for families and siblings

Counselling is available to help you and your family through difficult times.

Every family is different, and everyone responds differently to challenges in life. It’s a healthy positive action to seek help and talk about things with someone you trust. This can happen informally by talking with other parents and friends, or more formally by speaking with a health professional.

How can I get counselling?

You can get free counselling and support to help with depression and anxiety, parenting, financial pressure and relationship stress.

Talk to your Maternal Child Health Nurse or GP to find out what type of support would best suit you. This could include face-to-face counselling, telephone support, joining a group or accessing support online. Your GP can also tell you if you can access support through a Mental Health Care Plan where some of the cost is covered by Medicare.

Families with children with disability can get free counselling support through:

Family Relationship Support for Carers

Call 1300 303 346 or visit the Each website

Carer Gateway

Call 1800 422 737 or visit the Carer Gateway website

Support for Siblings

Siblings often miss out as families juggle caring responsibilities.

Little Dreamers Australia

Little Dreamers Australia provides opportunities for siblings to participate in free and low cost camps, school holiday excursions, social groups and mentoring

Siblings Australia

Siblings Australia provides training for families on supporting siblings and offers siblings the opportunity
to connect and share their experiences

How else can I get help?

A number of helplines also provide free and confidential counselling support:

Parentline

Call 132 289 (8am to midnight, 7 days a week)

Maternal and Child Health Line

Call 13 22 29 (24 hours)

Lifeline

24-hour telephone and online counselling.

Call 131 114 or visit the Lifeline website

MensLine Australia

Call 1300 789 978 (24 hours) or visit the Mensline website

National Debt Helpline

Free financial counselling.

Call 1800 007 007 (Mon-Fri) or visit the National Debt Helpline website

1800 RESPECT

National Sexual Assault Family Domestic Violence Counselling Service

Call 1800 737 732 (24 hours) or visit the 1800 RESPECT website