Finding a counsellor you can relate to, be open with and trust is an essential part of accessing support.
Westlund Counselling provides safe, inclusive and compassionate counselling for people living with or impacted by HIV, LGBTIQ people and their allies.
Tom Skelton, manager - counselling and wellbeing said, "We acknowledge that the health needs of all the people that we serve are not the same, but we share a common fight against stigma and discrimination that affects our health and wellbeing.
"We create opportunities for our communities to live their healthiest lives and be their true selves."
Westlund Counselling is a mental health and wellbeing service of Meridian, Canberra's leading LGBTIQ and HIV+ community organisation.
Formerly the AIDS Action Council, Meridian was established in 1983 in response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic and has a strong and proud history of working with and representing diverse groups of people.
Westlund Counselling is committed to providing a non-judgemental therapeutic environment that values the unique lived experiences of anyone seeking counselling. They welcome members of the community over the age of 15, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, cultural background, religious belief or economic circumstances.
"We work with issues that impact our communities along with common mental health concerns that impact absolutely everyone," Tom said.
"We complement our peer-based approach with evidenced-based approaches that ensure our programs and services are effective and responsive to the emerging needs of the communities we work with."
Westlund Counselling supports Mental Health Month and appreciates that the campaign encourages all of us to think about our mental health and wellbeing, regardless of whether we may have a lived experience of mental illness or not.
It also gives us the opportunity to understand the importance of good mental health in our everyday lives and encourages help seeking behaviours when needed.
"We are keen to de-stigmatise important and open conversations about suicidality and self-harm along with resilience and strength building strategies that celebrate diversity," Tom said.
The counsellors at Westlund Counselling are qualified, professional and registered with an appropriate body. They draw on the knowledge and expertise that comes from lived experience.
"Our goal is to nurture and support individuals and communities to reach their potential," Tom said. "Counselling can also help restore perspective and objectivity, and contribute to positive change and growth."
They provide confidential EAP (Employee Assistance Program) counselling.
Westlund Counselling is located at Havelock House, 85 Northbourne Avenue, Turner (Gould Street entrance). Phone 0412 882 855 or get an online enquiry form at westlund.org.au plus you can get a referral form for mental health professionals.