Cancer Counselling Service

Living with a cancer diagnosis, or supporting someone along the way, is rarely easy. Understandably, you may find yourself feeling stressed, overwhelmed or just not like your usual self. Sometimes talking things through with your loved ones isn’t enough.

Cancer Council Queensland’s Cancer Counselling Service offers an opportunity to talk with nurse counsellors and psychologists who can help you with cancer-related challenges.

To discuss a referral or your support options call Cancer Council 13 11 20

What is the Cancer Counselling Service?

The Cancer Counselling Service is Queensland’s leading cancer specific telephone counselling service. This service is staffed by nurse counsellors and registered psychologists, all with training and experience in helping people affected by cancer.

Counselling can assist you at any stage of your journey, from diagnosis through to living with or having survived cancer. You can also benefit from this support if you are grieving.

What services are available?

Because we realise people’s support needs vary, we provide telephone counselling within a stepped model of care. This means, where possible, we start with guided self-help delivered by our nurse counsellors.

Nurse counsellor service

Our nurse counsellors provide guided self-help, in the form of a single telephone session and a follow up contact. They offer guidance and tips on coping with the effects of cancer or adjusting to life with or after cancer. They also provide support with making decisions related to treatment and addressing treatment concerns.

Where guided self-help does not address your concerns, we will link you in to our psychology service.

Psychology service

Those experiencing high levels of distress will bypass guided self-help and be linked into our psychology service. Our psychologists provide more intensive support in the form of therapy which involves a number of one-on-one telephone counselling sessions.

Group programs

Group programs are conducted over the telephone as well as face-to-face in Brisbane and selected regional offices. These programs enable participants to learn new skills in assisting them to cope with cancer and its related challenges.

We currently conduct 4 hour mindfulness workshops and an 8 week mindfulness meditation program. At times throughout the year, the Cancer Counselling Service will run additional programs focussing on specific coping skills.

What support does the Cancer Counselling Service provide?

We can assist with a range of cancer concerns including:

  • Adjusting to life with cancer
  • Stress and difficulty coping
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Loss
  • Family or relationship problems
  • Treatment side-effects
  • Sexual problems
  • Uncertainty about the future
  • Survivorship
  • Fear of recurrence
  • Therapy related to end of life
  • Bereavement support

Are there fees for the service?

As we are a telephone and Skype based service, our counselling service is free. This ensures equity of access for all Queenslanders impacted by cancer.

Who can access the Cancer Counselling Service?

The Cancer Counselling Service is available to anyone who is distressed by cancer, including family and friends. We offer individual and couple counselling, as well as the opportunity to participate in our Living Mindfully and other group programs.

How do I request a referral?

Call 13 11 20 to speak to one of our Information and Support Coordinators who can refer you to the Cancer Counselling Service. You can call 13 11 20 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

You can also email 13 11 20 and an Information and Support Coordinator will call you back within two business days. Request a referral

How do I make an appointment?

Upon receiving your referral, our Cancer Counselling Team will contact you within two business days to make an appointment.

Appointments are available Monday to Friday during business hours, with limited after-hours appointments available by arrangement.


Some resources you may find helpful are: