Out-of-Hours Crisis Counselling Line for students

ACU has a whole-of-university strategy to improve student retention. The role that mental health and wellbeing plays in students’ capacity to study and to succeed academically is well recognised, and it plays a key part in this strategy.

Students, like all of us, experience difficulties ranging from minor annoyances to crises which can occur at all hours of the day and night. To ensure students who are in crisis are provided with timely and professional assistance, ACU has partnered with University Crisis Line to extend the usual hours of counselling offered on campus.

The Out-of-Hours Crisis Counselling Line has been available since 4 February. It enables students to seek immediate support for emotional distress and safely manage threats to their safety at times when ACU’s counselling service is closed.

The Out-of-Hours Crisis Counselling Line provides students with information and links to external resources and services to assist them overcome their current crisis. The crisis line works closely with ACU’s counselling team to ensure there is follow-up contact by an ACU Counsellor on the next working day.

This over-the-phone counselling service will ensure that our students can be supported no matter when – or where – they experience difficulties. Students can call from anywhere within Australia, and they can also access the line when overseas.

If you’re aware of students facing difficulties, please refer them to this service using the information below.

Hours of operation
  • Weekdays: 5pm to 9am (AEST)
  • Weekends and public holidays: 24 hours
Numbers to remember
  • In Australia, phone 1300 638 485 or text 0488 884 191
  • Overseas, text +61 488 884 191

Students who are on an overseas-approved ACU program should only use the text number. Please ensure students call during the hours of operation of the Out-of-Hours Crisis Counselling line.

Please ask students to read the Privacy Collection statements before using the service.

Frequently asked questions

Q: I am with a distressed student and it is after 5pm. The student is willing to use the out-of-hours crisis counselling line but wants me to call and explain the situation. Is it OK to make the call, outline the situation, and then hand the phone over to the student?

A: Yes. Make the call and explain the situation and that you are a staff member. Follow the advice that you are given. 

Q: It is out-of-hours and I have received a voice mail/text/email from a student. I am very concerned about their safety. Is it possible for me to use the out-of-hours crisis counselling line?

A: Yes. Call the line and explain the situation. Act in accordance with the recommendations you receive.

At all times, ensure you follow up with your supervisor to inform them of what occurred and follow all processes associated with such an incident. It is not uncommon to be affected by your experience. Remember to use your own networks to gain support. You can also contact the Employee Assistance Program on 1800 81 87 28,  or Lifeline on 13 11 14.


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