As Australia’s largest sexuality and gender diverse health organisation, ACON will soon be launching their new LGBTQI counselling service, Pride Counselling. The new service will provide community members more financially accessible, inclusive, and culturally appropriate mental health care and support.

The service will link clients directly to inclusive mental health care, meaning they won’t have to worry about any barriers that would prevent them from accessing appropriate and inclusive care and support.

“LGBTQ people want to go to health professionals who understand our needs and the issues we may experience. Our Pride Counselling team is from our communities, speak our language, and know exactly what LGBTQ are going through,” said ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill.

The service will support and assist on a range of issues including coming out, identity, gender, sexuality, and relationships, as well as dealing with depression, anxiety, stress, grief and loss. Counsellors can also assist on issues relating to the workplace, trauma and addiction. Sessions can be accessed either in person at the ACON offices in Surry Hills, Newcastle, and Lismore, or through telehealth.

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 Pride Counselling charges between $120 and $180 per session, with the fee based on the client’s income. Those who have a reference and a Mental Health Care Plan will be eligible for a Medicare rebate, and the service can also be accessed via Employee Assistance Programs. All income generated from the fees will be reinvested back into ACON’s programs.

“One of the great parts of Pride Counselling is that, as a social enterprise, all income generated from fees are reinvested back into ACON’s programs. This will assist those community members that may be experiencing financial hardship to access the service, as well as provide support to ACON’s other self-funded mental health programs,” Parkhill added.

“ACON has a long and proud history of supporting and strengthening LGBTQ mental health. Our purpose at ACON is to create opportunities for people in our communities to live their healthiest lives – and we aim to do just that with Pride Counselling.”

Appointments can be made through the ACON website or by calling ACON’s intake officer and asking to make an appointment with Pride Counselling.

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