Healthy Minds: free, referral-based psychological services

Healthy Minds is a free counselling service for people experiencing mild to moderate mental health concerns, and who are unable to afford services provided by mental health practitioners in private practice.

To be eligible, people must fit into one of the priority groups and hold either a Health Care Card or a Pensioner Concession Card (card not required to access suicide prevention or extreme climate events services).

Healthy Minds priority groups include:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • People from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • Children up to the age of 12 who are experiencing, or at risk of developing, an emotional or behavioural disorder
  • Homelessness or people at risk of becoming homeless
  • Perinatal women from 20 weeks up until one year after giving birth
  • People at moderate risk of suicide and/or self-harm
  • People who have experienced extreme climate events such as bushfire or flood.

Eligible people receive up to 10 counselling sessions (up to 20 sessions under the suicide prevention priority group). Sessions are usually 60 minutes in duration with a mental health practitioner such as a psychologist, mental health nurse, mental health occupational therapists or mental health social worker. In these sessions, people are provided with strategies and techniques to manage their mental health concerns.

To improve accessibility to mental health treatment, Healthy Minds services are delivered in a variety of settings including community organisations, medical centres (including Aboriginal medical services) and the private rooms of mental health practitioners. In some cases, home visits are available.

Healthy Minds practitioners have agreed not to charge a gap fee so there is no cost for people receiving services under the Healthy Minds program.

Referrals can be made to the Healthy Minds program through Connect To Wellbeing’s intake and assessment referral service.

Healthy Minds is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health.

Agency: Healthy North Coast



Mental Health Practitioner Directory

Frequently Asked Questions

Any AHPRA or AASW registered mental health practitioner providing services in the Mid North Coast and/or Northern NSW.

Social workers, psychotherapists and counsellors are ineligible to list in the directory.

By listing, you will let GPs, other referrers and consumers know that you are practising in Mid North Coast and/or Northern NSW. You can provide information such as where you are located, the services you provide, the population groups you support and your clinical interests.

No, the directory is a free service provided by Healthy North Coast.

This directory enables you to provide real-time information about your availability to accept referrals, as well as how long people may have to wait for an appointment. You can update this information as your availability changes. This will help GPs and other referrers ensure they only refer clients to practitioners who have the capacity to see them.

It also has a range of advanced search options and supports printing and bookmarking of search results.

You can choose to display your email address and your phone number so that people can contact you directly. You may prefer not to display these, in which case people can contact you by completing an enquiry form located in the Directory. Your choices can be updated anytime.

You can indicate wait times for an appointment for a new client or that you are currently unable to accept new referrals. You can also choose whether to display or hide your contact details. You can update your choices at any time.

Yes, you can update your listing or remove it at any time by clicking the “update practitioner details” button on your listing. You will receive a secure website link to your nominated admin email that will enable you to make changes, delete or put your listing on hold. You can also show when you are taking extended leave or are not available for a specific period, rather than completely removing your listing.

We will also send you an email every three months (90 days) prompting you to check that your information is up to date.

You will be responsible for managing the information in your listing and ensuring that it is up to date. You will also be asked to check the information before it is published in the directory.

We will also send you an email every three months (90 days) prompting you to check that your information is up to date so that the directory displays accurate information.

You can read the full Terms of Use by clicking here.