The University of Melbourne Counselling and Psychological Services (CAPS) provides free, confidential, short-term psychological counselling to currently enrolled students and staff, as well as a range of workshops, mental health training, and helpful resources.
Student workshop program
CAPS offers free workshops and group programs on a range of personal development, mental health and wellbeing issues each semester. Mental Health First Aid and other training programs are also available for both students and staff.
The University of Melbourne provides free, confidential, short-term professional counselling to currently enrolled domestic and international students and staff. We are committed to providing quick access to support for those in need.
Individual counselling appointments
Students located in Australia
Counselling and Psychological Services (CAPS) provides counselling to currently enrolled domestic and international students located in Australia.Find out more
Students located outside Australia
The University of Melbourne is pleased to announce a new counselling service for students currently located outside of Australia.Find out more
University staff can access counselling appointments and a range of resources via our services for staff page.
Resilience and wellbeing series
Learn a range of fundamental skills to better cope and adapt to life's challenges.
|Growing through change and uncertainty||Change is inevitable - some changes are expected, while others can come out of the blue and leave us feeling uncertain and overwhelmed. Join this webinar to understand common reactions to change, learn adaptive strategies to manage the difficult feelings that can accompany change, and uncover new perspectives and opportunities that change can bring.||Watch recording|
|Boundaries and effective communication||Understand what healthy relationships look like, the importance of boundaries and how to set them, and effective negotiation and communication skills to resolve conflicts.||Watch recording|
|Managing stress and how to relax||Understand how our bodies and minds respond to stress, and how this knowledge can help you build relaxation skills. You will also be guided to learn a range of evidence-based relaxation strategies.||Watch recording|
|Changing negative thinking||Identify common unhelpful thinking patterns that can contribute to increased stress, anxiety, and other difficult feelings. Learn and practise how to reframe and balance your thoughts.||Watch recording|
|Let it go: unhooking from unhelpful thoughts and worry||During stressful or uncertain times, we can easily get caught up in worries or persistent negative thoughts, but this is often not useful. Learn and practise ways to unhook from unhelpful thoughts so they have less power over your life.||Watch recording|
|Better sleep||This webinar aims to help you understand the factors that impact on sleep and offer strategies to get a better night's sleep.||Watch recording|
|Managing difficult emotions||Learn more about your emotions and why your attempts to control them can sometimes leave you feeling worse. Join in to develop practical skills to better respond to strong emotions while living the life you want.||Watch recording|
|How to be kind to yourself||Understand what self-compassion is (and is not!), and how this approach can enhance motivation and resilience. Learn practical ways you can show yourself a little kindness when you need it most.||Watch recording|
|Building connections: Overcoming loneliness and isolation||Feeling connected and having a sense of belonging is a natural desire to have as a human being. This webinar will explore the challenging feeling of loneliness we all experience sometimes, and ways to connect when we feel disconnected.||Watch recording|
|Strengthening motivation||How do we motivate ourselves to get things done when we don't feel like it? Learn how to identify your values and use them to plan and carry out effective actions, so that you can do what matters most even when difficult feelings arise.||Watch recording|
Enhance your learning series
Learn strategies to enhance your study and learning experience.
|Optimising focus and attention||This webinar aims to help you better understand what attention is and how it works. You'll be able to identify the factors that affect focus, and learn about a range of strategies to build your concentration.||Watch recording|
|Overcoming procrastination: Managing your thinking||Do you put off doing study until the last minute even though you know it’s going to cause you stress? This webinar aims to help you identify unhelpful thoughts that lead to procrastination and learn strategies to challenge them so that you can study more efficiently.||Watch recording|
|Overcoming procrastination: Practical tips and strategies||This webinar guides you through a range of practical strategies to help you study more effectively, feel more competent, and reduce the likelihood of leaving your study to the last minute.||Watch recording|
|Studying on the spectrum||People with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can perceive the world differently from others. This webinar can be useful for people who identify as being on the spectrum or neurodivergent, their family and friends, staff or other people with an interest in this area. It can help you identify common issues you may face as a student with ASD traits, better understand the neurodivergent brain, and learn practical strategies to thrive in your study and uni life.||Watch recording|
|Dealing with exam anxiety||It's normal to feel tense and worried in the face of exams. This webinar will help you understand what causes exam anxiety, and cover our top tips to manage it so you can be at your best for your exams.||Watch recording|
Anxiety management programs
We all feel anxious at times, but it's possible to learn ways to manage this so that it doesn't get in the way of life. Find out more about anxiety and how to cope effectively through these programs.
|Beyond study: Overcoming social anxiety||This three-week online program will help you understand social anxiety and offer strategies to overcome it.||Fri 26 Aug |
Fri 2 Sep
Fri 9 Sep
1 - 2pm
|Break free from anxiety group program||Facilitated by CAPS counsellors, this online program aims to provide a supportive group environment for students to connect with each other, and learn a range of strategies to manage stress and anxiety more effectively through small group discussions and experiential exercises. This requires a commitment to attend all 4 x 1.5 hour sessions.||Tue 30 Aug|
Tue 6 Sep
Tue 13 Sep
Tue 20 Sep
10.30am - 12pm
Mindfulness is paying attention to the present moment with an attitude of openness, curiosity, and acceptance. Regular practice can help us better manage stress and anxiety, improve our focus, engage more fully in life, and take effective action.
|Program||Description||Date/time||Registration and recordings|
These sessions aim to introduce the experience of cultivating calm and wellbeing from within. Give your brain a break from study or work by joining a CAPS counsellor in a guided mindfulness meditation. |
All students and staff welcome.
|Every Monday and Wednesday|
12 - 12.30pm
(Running from Mon 1 Aug - Wed 16 Nov)
|Mindfulness for stress management group program||
This online group program aims to provide a supportive learning environment for participants to develop a regular mindfulness practice to better manage stress. |
This requires a commitment to attend 6 x 1.5-hour weekly sessions and 20 minutes of practice per day. All students welcome.
|6 consecutive Thursdays, starting Thu 11 Aug - Thu Sep 15|
2.30 - 4pm
International student programs
Reflect on your experience as an international student and extend your social network. Gain support from counsellors and other international students in learning ways to adjust to a new environment, build meaningful relationships, and maintain positive wellbeing.
|International student discussion group: Social connections||Facilitated by CAPS Counsellors, this is a 3 x 1.5 hour in-person discussion group program. We aim to provide a supportive space for international students to share experiences around cultural adjustment, making and deepening social connections, navigating interpersonal conflicts, and developing coping strategies to cope with stress or other challenges you may experience in the process of settling into life in Melbourne. You're welcome to attend 1 or 2 or all 3 sessions as it suits you!||Mon 19 Sep, Mon 26 Sep, Mon 3 Oct, 2.30 - 4pm||Parkville Campus, location provided on registration||Completed|
|How to make challenging (or tough) decisions (CAPS x UMSUi Collaboration)||We make decisions everyday; however, some choices are not easy to make. “Do I stay in Melbourne, or move back to my home country?”, “Do I stay in this relationship, or leave?”, “Do I stay in this job - or quit?” Join this webinar to hear from UMSU International students, CAPS counsellors, and your peers about their experiences, and workshop how to make sound decisions in difficult situations.||Watch recording|
|How to manage family and societal expectations (CAPS x UMSUi Collaboration)||"My family spent quite a fortune to support my studies, so I have to make them proud." "Should I become a ... like everyone else, or pursue a career I'm truly passionate about?" Sound familiar? We carry expectations from family, society, and ourselves. Although expectations can motivate us, they can also sometimes overwhelm us. Join this webinar to share your experiences, hear from UMSU International students and CAPS counsellors, and explore ways to effectively manage expectations.||Watch recording|
Graduate researcher (GR) programs
|Program||Description||Date/time||Registration and recordings|
|Graduate research: Early tasks and considerations||In this online workshop, co-facilitated by Academic Skills and CAPS, you'll learn about the most important tasks of early stage candidature (pre-confirmation) including establishing first-year goals, critically reviewing the literature, and refining your research topic; developing habits to prioritise your wellbeing and work-life balance; setting up an effective supervisor-student relationship; and psychological strategies to build resilience and sustain yourself for the research journey.||Tue 23 Aug, 1.30 - 3pm||Completed|
|Going the distance: Sustaining motivation in the graduate research journey||Facilitated by CAPS counsellors, join this online workshop to share ideas for navigating changes in motivation throughout the graduate journey, and how to stay on track. You’ll develop a toolkit of strategies to generate motivation and tackle procrastination as a GR, and learn how to build healthy self-care habits to sustain yourself over the long haul.||Mon 12 Sep, 1.30 - 3pm||Completed|
|Addressing imposter syndrome and quietening the self-critic with self-compassion||Graduate research can be a rewarding journey, and have times when it can leave many GRs doubting their abilities or feeling like a 'fraud'. In this workshop facilitated by CAPS counsellors, we’ll unpack what ‘imposter syndrome’ is and learn strategies to handle it. You’ll discover evidence-based tools to overcome perfectionism and address unhelpful expectations you might be placing on yourself, managing your inner critic so that it doesn’t get in the way of you achieving your study and career goals.||Fri 7 Oct, 1.30 - 3pm||Completed|
|Responding to and thriving through expert and public scrutiny of your research||This online workshop, co-facilitated by Academic Skills and CAPS, explores strategies for building constructive understanding and psychological resilience in the face of scrutiny of your research. We will discuss effective and practical strategies to engage with critical feedback from supervisors, examiners, and peer reviews. You'll learn to manage your response adaptively to benefit from feedback to enable your research stands up to the highest levels of expert and public scrutiny.||Wed 2 Nov, 1.30 - 3pm||Completed|
Mental health training
Learn to recognise and assist someone developing a mental health problem or in crisis, including Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training.
Explore resources by Counselling and Psychological Services, including tip sheets and guided exercises.
Mental health problems
Tip sheets on common mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, eating disorders and self-harm.
Information on how to cope with psychological issues which may be affecting your studies, including stress management and motivation to study.
Find out how to make the most out of your relationships at uni or manage relationship issues.
Get advice on how to handle big transitions in your life, from adjusting to life at University to grief and loss.
Tip sheets on wellbeing, including self-care, getting better sleep and dealing with anger.
Advice about how to deal with or help others with addictive behaviours such as drug, alcohol or gambling addiction.
Information and advice on how to cope with and respond to traumatic life events.
Access a range of guided mental health and wellbeing exercises, with accompanying audio files.
Recommended external resources
Explore recommended external online mental health resources.
Counselling and Psychological Services (CAPS) provide a range of services to staff of the University of Melbourne.
Information on staff wellbeing services, support, and events is also available on the Human Resources Staff Hub page (login required).
Mental health advice for others (secondary consultation)
CAPS can provide secondary consultation; that is we can consult with university staff regarding any mental health concerns about students or other staff. This could include:
- Dealing with a crisis
- Understanding complex student behaviour
- Responding to mental health concerns
- Referring people for counselling.
Secondary consultation is provided by senior counsellors and the manager.
To request a phone or in-person secondary consultation, call us at 03 8344 6927 during business hours.
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
The University's Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides a wide range of free, independent, and confidential services that staff can access for any wellbeing issues you may be experiencing, including personal wellbeing challenges not related to work. Staff and immediate family members can access confidential short-term counselling, along with other wellbeing resources and support materials. All services are delivered either face-to-face, online, via telephone or through the EAP service provider's app. Learn more about the EAP and how to access EAP services on the dedicated EAP Staff Hub page.
Staff counselling through CAPS
CAPS provides free, confidential, short-term counselling for staff. All counsellors are employees of the University and have a wealth of experience in assisting you to develop adaptive strategies to support you at home and at work.
If you are new to CAPS or haven't attended our service this year, book an appointment by:
- Calling us on 03 8344 6927, or
- Visiting our reception at Level 5, 757 Swanston Street, Parkville.
Staff who are existing clients can book, check-in for, reschedule or cancel an appointment using our online appointment portal.
Other programs and resources
Students at risk
We encourage and promote early identification and support of students who may be experiencing mental health issues or personal distress.Find out more
Mental health training
Counselling and Psychological Services offer a range of mental health training for staff.Find out more
Programs for residential colleges and affiliated accommodation
Counselling and Psychological Services provide a number of specialist training programs for student leaders, tutors and advisors in residential colleges.Find out more
Mental Health Advisory Group
The Mental Health Advisory Group is a group of University staff with an interest in a “whole of university approach” to mental health. They support the University of Melbourne Mental Health Strategy.Find out more
Are you or someone else in immediate danger? If you are in an emergency:
- Contact University Security on 03 8344 6666
- Call the Police on 000
- Go to your nearest hospital emergency department
- Contact your local psychiatric triage service (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).
Hospitals close to campus
Location Hospital Psychiatric triage service Parkville campus Royal Melbourne Hospital (Phone: 03 9342 7000)
St Vincent's Hospital (Phone: 03 9231 2211)
1300 874 243
1800 888 320 (15 - 24 years)
Southbank campus The Alfred Hospital (Phone: 03 9076 2000) 1300 363 746
If you are in another area
Call the nearest major hospital - they will connect you with the local after-hours mental health service. You can also find the contact details of mental health services near your suburb or town using the Victorian Government Accessing Mental Health Services Finder.
If you are outside Australia
Please contact your local emergency or crisis services. Students located outside of Australia can also access counselling support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through our offshore student counselling service.
Mental health crisis support
A mental health crisis is where you may require same-day or immediate support from a mental health professional.
For students located in Australia
During business hours
Call Counselling and Psychological Services on 03 8344 6927 and let us know that the situation needs urgent attention.
If you are concerned about a student's wellbeing, you can refer the student to our service. Appointments are voluntary and confidential. You can also contact us for mental health advice for others (secondary consultation) by calling us on 03 8344 6927.
Learn more about our psychological support for critical incidents.
After hours mental health crisis support
Our standard business hours are 9am to 5pm Melbourne time, Monday to Friday. For mental health support and advice outside of these hours (including 24 hours on weekends and public holidays), students can contact the University's After Hours Mental Health Crisis Support Service:
- Phone: 1300 219 459
- Text: 0480 079 188
Text or call this service for help with:
- Finding immediate relief from emotional distress
- Identifying coping strategies for current problems or a crisis
- Exploring pathways for longer-term solutions
- Working out the next steps to take.
Please call 000 (emergency services) if you are in immediate danger and are in Australia. The After Hours Mental Health Crisis Support Service does not offer ongoing counselling, but can link you with community counselling, wellbeing services and resources.
For students located outside Australia
The University of Melbourne has partnered with Workplace Options to provide free, confidential, short-term professional counselling support to our students who are currently located outside of Australia.
This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and can connect you to local resources to help you manage emotional, practical, or physical needs, including a mental health crisis.
External support services
Explore recommended external services for mental health support, including suicide and crisis support.