Five free health care services every student should know about

May 16, 2017
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When you're a student, a lot of your problems are going to be compounded by the fact you have very little financial resources to deal with them. You'll be stressed (because you have no money), you'll eat poorly (because you have no money), you'll make desperate, risky decisions that you maybe otherwise wouldn't have (because you have no money) and you will ignore both physical and mental health problems when they arise, because you have no money. So you should probably make yourself familiar with this list of health services available to students across Australia that won't cost you a cent.

Headspace

For young people aged between 12 and 25 years, Headspace is one of the most crucial mental health services for an everyday student to be aware of. They provide information and counselling services for students in metropolitan, regional and rural areas across Australia, at no cost to its participants.

While mostly dealing with mental health outcomes, Headspace also provides support for issues of physical heath or drug and alcohol abuse as well. If, due to timetable issues or other university constraints, you can't physically make it to a Headspace centre, they also have a great telephone and online service called eHeadspace where you can confidentially talk to one of their many mental health professionals.

Center for Clinical Interventions (CCI)

CCI provides a number of free mental health services in the form of information packages available to download and complete via their website. In addition to speaking to your doctor or a mental health professional, completing the online modules offered by CCI can be a great method for getting specific help for a personal difficulty without having to leave the house or needing to pay for a particular service. That being said, this is probably something that you would do while also seeking help from professionals, rather than in lieu of it.

Youth Support + Advocacy Service (YSAS)

We all joke about the average student's propensity for binge-drinking and drug use; blowing up an empty goon sack to be used as a surrogate pillow is as much a punchline for student living as it is a tradition of it, but sometimes the joke stops being funny. Especially if you find yourself unable to control your drinking, or you can't study effectively without hitting up your source for dexies first. YSAS provide a range of programs and services for people aged 12 to 21 who are experiencing difficulties in their life pertaining to drug or alcohol use.

Reach Out

If you're a student and you have questions about sexuality or gender, Reach Out may be the service for you. They have a number of national services that provide support for LGBTIQ people facing personal issues, the most prominent of which is QLife, which provides both an online chat service as well as a telephone hotline (1800 184 527) that aims to keep queer communities connected.

Lifeline

As a 24/7 support line, Lifeline answers as many as 1800 calls a day from Australians facing a personal crisis. While Lifeline also provide a range of local community services like face-to-face counselling, they are known mostly for their 24-hour crisis support line (13 11 14). Just having the knowledge that a listening ear and supportive voice is only a phone call away could be the difference for students experiencing some rough times.

Luke Hickey

When he’s not writing for Hijacked, Luke can often be found in corners of the internet jabbering about the New York Knicks, thin-crust pizza and MF DOOM outtakes.

Image: Giphy

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