Cancer counselling service

Cancer and its treatments can affect your patient’s everyday life and relationships. We can offer free, short-term phone counselling to help your patients and those closest to them, work through any cancer related concerns.

The counselling service provides eligible Victorians with a referral to Cancer Council Queensland’s Cancer Counselling Service (CCS). This service is staffed by qualified psychologists and health professionals to help people with cancer and those close to them.

Eligibility criteria

As we have limited resources, we need to ensure that our counselling service is the most suitable for patients and carers and that all other options for support have been considered. Our cancer nurses will determine the person’s eligibility for counselling based on the following criteria:

  • Cancer-specific concern
    Does the caller’s main/primary concern clearly relate to their own or a family member/close friend’s cancer, and does not pre-date the diagnosis?
  • Degree of distress and risk factors - to identify those people requiring additional support and offer referral to psychosocial and other relevant support services.  Our nurses use the Distress Thermometer scale which is adapted from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN).
  • Access to other services e.g. in hospital psycho-oncology services, GP, private psychologists

How to refer your patients

If you have a patient or carer that needs counselling support, please fill in the referral form and one of our cancer nurses will contact them directly to determine their eligibility and if eligible, make a referral to the Cancer Counselling Service.

Upon receiving the referral, our Cancer Counselling Service team will contact your patient/ carer within two business days to make an appointment. Appointments are available Monday to Friday during business hours, with limited after-hours appointments available by arrangement.

For patients that do not meet the eligibility criteria, we will provide information on what other types of support could be available to them.

What support does the Cancer Counselling Service provide?

We can assist with a range of cancer concerns including:

  • Adjusting to life with cancer
  • Stress and difficulty coping
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Loss
  • Family or relationship problems
  • Treatment side-effects
  • Sexual problems
  • Uncertainty about the future
  • Survivorship
  • Fear of recurrence
  • Therapy related to end of life
  • Bereavement support