Counselling Project

The aim of the Hume RICS Counselling Project was to increase access to community based counselling services throughout the Hume region.

Background

The Hume RICS Supportive Care Strategic Plan 2010-11 identified the aim of increasing access to community based counselling services based on health professional and consumer feedback. Reasons for the gap were unclear, so resources were identified to undertake this project to provide further information and clarity in relation to this issue.

 

Outcomes

Outcomes of the Hume RICS Counselling Project include:

  • A ‘snapshot in time’ of public counselling services across the region was developed, including telephone counselling options.
  • Access provided through the Medicare Benefits Scheme to eligible allied health professionals was identified
  • A discussion paper (Access to publicly funded counselling) was developed which clearly identifies that this is a complex issue.
  • Hume RICS will advocate that counselling providers not listed on the Human Services Directory (HSD) register to enable clear referral options and processes for clinicians.
  • 24 hour telephone counselling options are made available in the standardised information packs provided to all cancer patients across the region for easy access by patients/ family/ carers on returning home.
  • Hume RICS will work with public counselling services to increase understanding of both clinicians and consumers, of when and where counselling referrals are an appropriate response, and what other alternative responses may be useful
  • Hume RICS will facilitate the provision of professional development opportunities for frontline cancer staff (including nurses, clinicians, allied health) to build their capacity and confidence to engage in discussions with cancer patients, particularly in relation to the issues of death and dying, and the impact of cancer on sexuality.
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