Seeking Help

“Sometimes even to live, is an act of courage”

Lucius Annaeus Seneca

In the spirit of this quote, lets establish one thing: there is nothing weak about asking for help.

No one can handle everything by themselves, nor do they have to. Strength isn’t being immune to everything, its having the humility and courage to seek support and love when you need it. Life isn’t smooth sailing. With all of its transitory and momentary ups and downs, being adaptable and vulnerable is one of the most important life attributes you can have.

Whether it is mental illness or a difficult moment in your life, there will always be help if you have the courage to ask for it. Here you will find a collection of resources that can help you keep moving forward.

Monash University

Monash Disability Support Services (DSS)

Who are they?

DSS promotes access and equity for all students at Monash. By registering under the DSS, you will be able to work out an arrangement to assist you in your studies and achieve your full capacity. They focus on providing practical solutions to help get you back up and keep you on your feet. For example, you may get automatic extensions for assignments, more time in exams or have notetakers in lectures. Equipment such as portable hearing devices, smart pens for notetaking, digital recording devices  and wheelchairs are also available. Resting rooms are also available for you to recouperate.

Who can register?

The requirements for registration are not that strict, and don’t be put off by the name. You are not disabled if you need help. You can register with DSS if you are someone with an ongoing physical health problem or mental health problem, or disadvantaged due to circumstantial reasons such as being a working single mother, or having to care for someone else. If you are unsure, or feel that you are struggling in meeting deadlines, you can contact a disabilities adviser and ask them for advice.

How can I register?

Fill out a registration form which can be found here. This form needs to be signed by a health professional, which can be a doctor, counsellor or a psychologist. If it is a learning disability, you need to attach an assessment and report completed by a educational or neuro-psychologist. Once you have completed the form, you need to print it out and bring it along to an appointment with a disability adviser.

Who are disability advisers?

They are people who can help you with advice as to whether you can get registered with DSS, or whether another Monash or outside program might be more appropriate. They are available:

  • Clayton campus throughout the year
  • Caulfield campus on Tuesdays during the semester
  • Parkville campus on alternate Fridays during the semester
  • Peninsula campus on Thursday mornings during the semester.

They are also willing to talk over the phone or make different arrangements if that suits you better.

Contact & More Info

If you want to contact a disability advisor, ask more questions or want to express interest in registering, feel free to contact DSS.

Phone: 9905 5704

Email: disabilitysupportservices@monash.edu

Monash Psychologist and Counselling Services

Its important to distinguish between a counsellor and a psychologist so that you can seek the most appropriate help.

A counsellor will offer short-term conversation and help you deal with present issues that require someone who just wants to listen to your story. They tend to mainly give talk-based therapy to help you better understand yourself and overcome current adversities. Councillors are unable to diagnose mental health issues however they can write you a supporting letter to assist in your application for special consideration or getting registered with DSS.

A psychologist is focused on providing in-depth analysis of your problems, from a background of study in human behaviour and emotions. Their consultations are longer and more intensive. It may involve a referral to a psychiatrist or other external help providers. They are qualified to diagnose mental health however their wait lists at Monash university can reach into several weeks/months.

How can I make an appointment?

The first step we would recommend is to make a counselling appointment with Monash Health. All relevant information such as contact and locations can be found here. Counselling services are generally easy to book, as long as you are a Monash student, and the waiting list is usually short. Once you see a counsellor, they will be able to make an assessment as to whether a psychologist would be more appropriate for you.

If you are thinking of seeing a counsellor, our recommendation is to just be as honest as possible. They will not judge you, they are only there to help. However, if you feel uncomfortable in disclosing certain details (such as in the event of being sexually assaulted), feel free to request a female or male counsellor if this will make you more comfortable. Remember, they are there to support you and if you feel like the relationship isn’t working or productive you can always ask for a different counsellor.

Contact & More Info

If you want any more information regarding these services, this is a link to their Monash website. If you have any questions regarding this section of the website or ARS in general, feel free to contact us as well!

“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.
When something happens, the only thing in your power is your attitude toward it; you can either accept it or resent it.”

Epictetus