Cancer Counselling Service

The Cancer Counselling Service is Queensland’s only cancer-specific service offering the opportunity for those affected by cancer, at any point, to speak to Nurse Counsellors or Psychologists. Our specially-trained staff understands that a cancer diagnosis can come with a range of difficulties and can work with you to develop new ways of coping to improve your quality-of-life.

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

Referral and support options

Living with a cancer diagnosis, or supporting someone along the way, is rarely easy. In fact, research shows that of those who are diagnosed with cancer, many will be affected by distress at some point along their journey. You don’t have to cope with this distress on your own.

Common difficulties can include:

  • Adjusting to life with cancer
  • Stress and difficulty coping
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

We can also help with:

  • Sleep difficulties
  • Physical losses and changes in your ability to participate in normal activities
  • Family or relationship problems
  • Managing treatment side-effects
  • Overcoming sexual problems
  • Ways to manage uncertainty about the future
  • Issues faced once active treatment is complete
  • Dealing with fear of recurrence

Our service also provides support and guidance in relation to end of life issues and bereavement support.

What services are available?

We provide a range of confidential individual and group support options, including psychologists who provide specific therapy and support to those experiencing significant distress. Our services are available to anyone who is distressed by cancer, including family and friends.

Face-to-face psychology:

Available in our Brisbane and regional offices. Where possible, we will discuss the option of you seeking a referral from your GP or using Private Health Cover. This allows us to bulk-bill the cost of this service, with no out-of-pocket cost to you.

Our service is accessible in the following locations:

  • Brisbane
  • Bundaberg
  • Cairns
  • Gold Coast
  • Mackay
  • Sunshine Coast
  • Rockhampton
  • Toowoomba
  • Townsville

Telephone psychology:

Available across Queensland with no cost to you.

Nurse counsellors:

A free telephone service provided by our nurse counsellors, who are registered nurses with oncology experience. This service offers information and support regarding cancer and treatment and offers guidance and tips on coping with the emotional and physical effects of cancer.

Living Mindfully:

A half-day workshop or a more intensive eight week program offered in a group setting. You will have the opportunity to learn skills to assist with coping with cancer through mindfulness meditation practices and guided group discussion. The workshops are run throughout Queensland and our eight week groups are run in Brisbane and selected regional offices as well as over the telephone. Find out more about Living Mindfully.

We understand that it is not always easy to know what type of support you need – we can help you to choose a service that is suited to your situation.


Some resources you may find helpful are:

Cancer Counselling Service – Ruth’s story