NACCHO #APSAD @APSADConf Aboriginal Health and #ICE : New Online counselling support service to help ice users


 “An innovative national online counselling service will help people affected by substance misuse to get the support they need.

The Minister for Health, Sussan Ley, said as part of the Australian Government’s $298.3 million National Ice Action Strategy, Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre will provide an enhanced national online counselling service to support people affected by substance misuse. “

The Counselling Online website is accessible at

on a range of mobile devices including smart phones and tablets.

“This new national service complements the Australian Government’s additional drug and alcohol treatment funding to Primary Health Networks ensuring a range of treatment options are available for people affected by ice or other methamphetamines and their families – no matter where they may be around the country – who want to take that vital first step and reach out to seek help,” Minister Ley said.

“The 2015 National Ice Taskforce Final Report recommended improving access to online interventions, including ice-specific counselling and self-help options, as a priority in delivering treatment and support for users and families.

“There’s also evidence that online interventions are successful in engaging people affected by drug and alcohol misuse including ice, who are less likely to seek help through more conventional face-to-face treatment services.

“More than 60 per cent of those who previously contacted Turning Point’s 24 hour counselling service were making contact for the first time, so the expansion of this service is an important resource in the fight against the scourge of ice.”

Turning Point’s expanded services now include:

  •  a moderated peer forum that provides online communities with support and information for drug and alcohol-related issues, as well as opportunities to discuss strategies for recovery;
  •  self-help modules with tailored guidance for individual needs; and
  •  new tools, such as an SMS subscriber service, which sends supportive messages at critical time periods throughout the week to reduce the risk of relapse.

Minister Ley said the new free service is now available and will provide the community with 24/7 support.

If your preference is to speak to someone by phone, there are 24 hour Alcohol and Drug Information Services (ADIS) in your State:


Australian Capital Territory (02) 6207 9977
New South Wales 1800 422 599 (Regional)
(02) 9361 8000 (Metropolitan)
Northern Territory 1800 131 350
Queensland 1800 177 833 (Regional)
(07) 3837 5989 (Metropolitan)
South Australia 1300 131 340
Tasmania 1800 811 994
Victoria 1800 888 236 (DirectLine)
Western Australia 1800 198 024 (Regional)
(08) 9442 5000 (Metropolitan)

Our Service

Operated by Turning Point in Victoria and funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health, Counselling Online provides assistance to Australian residents concerned about alcohol & other drugs.

Our primary service is online text-based counselling for people concerned about their own drinking or drug use. The service is equally available to people concerned about a family member, relative or friend.

Our service also provides:

  • support by email
  • tools such as self-assessments and self-help modules
  • an SMS service to keep you focused and on track
  • an online community forum to connect you with peers for support.

Counselling Online services are free and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Our Story

Counselling Online has been in operation since 2006 providing an online method for people affected by alcohol & other drugs to seek help.

We understand that the stigma associated with alcohol and drug use can make it difficult for individuals to reach out for help.  We provide a safe, anonymous and confidential space for people to disclose their problems and receive information and options about next steps.  We aim for this interaction to be positive and judgement free so that the next step can feel far less daunting and achievable.

We aim to provide service for people at all stages of help seeking:

  • for first time help seekers
  • for people waiting for treatment
  • people in treatment that require additional support, particularly after hours
  • people who have completed treatment and want to stay on track
  • for people in recovery wanting to connect with others or prevent relapse
  • for people supporting a significant other with a drug and alcohol problem.

We understand that recovery from a drug and alcohol issue can be difficult and prone to lapse and relapse. We believe that every moment counts and even the most difficult times can be opportunities to learn, so stay connected and join our community.

Our Counsellors

Counselling Online services are provided by counselling staff with professional qualifications and experience in alcohol and drug counselling and treatment. These staff are employed by Turning Point in Victoria.

Our staff have a range of qualifications in health sciences, including Psychology, Social Work, Nursing, Psychiatric Nursing and Welfare Studies. Counselling Online staff also have specialised experience in alcohol and drug treatment delivery. This often includes experience in face-to-face alcohol and drug treatment services in the community.

Counselling Online services are delivered within a harm minimisation framework. Our counselling and support services are provided with reference to current clinical practice standards and guidelines for alcohol and drug service delivery.

Further information on the profile and training of Counselling Online staff is available on request via the feedback form.




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