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Student Support just a Phone Call Away

By February 28, 2023June 4th, 2024No Comments
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We are excited to partner with PeopleSense by Altius to offer a mental health support service to all students supported by CEF.

We value the emotional support that our volunteers give to students in their local community, and we have listened and understood that sometimes you would like to be able to offer more.

Why are we offering this program?

The mental health of young people in Australia continues to be a concern, with rates of diagnosed mental health conditions and significant psychological distress rising, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last year we shared the experiences of our CEF students and in July 2022, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released the latest findings of the National Study of Health and Wellbeing, which include:

  • Almost two in five people (39.6%) aged 16-24 years had mental disorder in the last 12 months
  • Almost half (46.6%) the females aged 16-24 years and almost one third (31.2%) of males aged 16-24 years had a mental disorder in the last 12 months
  • People aged 16-24 years had the highest rates  Substance Use disorders in the last 12 months
  • One in five (20.0%) people aged 16-34 years experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress
  • Between 1/4  and 1/3 of people aged 16-34 years old did not or only partially had their need for counselling met

“Covid has led to me being somewhat cut-off from the rest of the world. I have experienced loneliness and isolation which has been very difficult.”
Jacob McMullen, Orange grant and Audi Foundation scholarship recipient

This is why we are offering a support program.

Not only will it provide an initial point of contact for professional assistance, it will help facilitate access and referral to appropriate ongoing support, ensuring our youth get the support they need to succeed after school.

What is on offer and who is eligible?

Through the assistance program, currently supported CEF recipients will have access to one free session. A student will need to identify themselves as a CEF recipient and the foundation supporting them to confirm eligibility.

  • Assistance is available to all CEF students
  • One session is covered per student per twelve-month period by CEF
  • Self-referral
  • If further sessions are required, the Altius Group psychologist will facilitate referral to a GP for a Mental Health Treatment Plan with the same psychologist, or one of the students choice.

1300 307 912 or Book Online
any time – 24 hours a day, 7 days per week

Altius Group provide support and guidance to organisations and their people to optimise physical, mental and social health.

PeopleSense provide injury management and employee assistance programs to organisations throughout Australia.

What is an Employee Assistance Program (EAP)?

Traditionally, the EAP is an external psychological treatment and support service that employers offer to their employees and family members.

Thanks to Altius Group and PeopleSense, CEF is offering a modified version of this service to assist students to resolve personal or study-related difficulties through professional counselling.

What is a Mental Health Treatment Plan (MHTP)?

A Mental Health Treatment Plan (previously known as a ‘mental health care plan’) is a plan for people with a mental health disorder. If you have mental health issues, your doctor can write a plan for you.

The plan can include Medicare rebates for up to 10 counselling sessions per calendar year.

The plan identifies what type of health care you need and spells out what you and your doctor have agreed you are aiming to achieve. It may also refer you to local mental health services.

You can read more about Mental Health Treatment Plans on the Health Direct website.


  • Can one student can use a number of the fully paid sessions?
    No, each student can only access one session for free.
  • I was supported by CEF last year, but not this year. Can I use this service?
    No, you need to be currently supported by CEF for the 2024 academic year.
  • Do you need a referral to see a psychologist?
    No, but to claim the Medicare rebate (to reduce the cost of the session) you do need a referral from your GP through a General Practitioner Mental Health Treatment Plan (MHTP).
  • Does the Medicare rebate cover entire cost of sessions under a MHTP care plan?
    No, Medicare will not cover the full cost, you will need to pay for part of the cost.
  • Do I need to pay up front after my first free session?
    Yes, People Sense are required to take the full payment on the day of your appointment, after which you will be eligible to receive the Medicare rebate.
  • Can I use my grant money to pay for more appointments?
    It is up to the local foundation to assess this on an individual basis.

You can download the full FAQ document HERE 


Author Nicole

CEF Engagement & Development

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