Woman getting online counselling support on mobile phone

How can free online counselling help me?

  • Find out how free online counselling can help you.


  • Free online counselling chat is available 24/7 to people in northern and far northern Queensland.


  • All NQ Connect mental health web counselling takes place with a trained, professional counsellor. There are no volunteers.


The popularity of online counselling and therapy web chat has constantly increased ever since it appeared around two decades ago.

That’s hardly surprising, given how widespread smartphone and internet usage is. Australia is thought to have 20 million mobile phone users and our smartphone penetration is among the highest in the world, estimated to be around 90 per cent. And while a lack of reliable internet coverage remains a problem in many rural areas, the situation is gradually improving.

The widespread adoption of the internet has brought with it many innovations, from cloud services that let you access your data anywhere, to paying for things at the checkout on your smartphone.

Mental health web chat counselling is one such innovation.


What is online counselling?

Mental health counselling was at one time accessible in two ways: over the phone counselling, and in face-to-face or group therapy sessions. With the near-universal adoption of the internet, professional counselling services are now accessible over the web.

Online counselling works like other forms of counselling, the main difference being that you interact via web chat, rather than through verbal communication. People who opt for online counselling can talk about their stresses and worries with a professional counsellor — just like they would like in face-to-face and telephone-based counselling.

On NQ Connect, free 24-hour online counselling chat is available to people in northern and far northern Queensland. People can chat about a wide range of stresses and worries, including:

  • Anger management
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Grief and loss
  • Isolation and loneliness
  • Relationship and family problems
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Wellbeing
  • Work stress


Reasons to consider online counselling

Face-to-face counselling and phone counselling are traditionally regarded as effective ways for managing worries and mental health concerns. Even so, there are many reasons why you might prefer alternate forms of counselling.


Privacy and discretion

One of the advantages of web chat and online counselling is that it affords you a degree of privacy and discretion that might not be available through more traditional forms of counselling. For example, online counselling means nobody has to see you visit the local psychologist’s or marriage counsellor’s office, if that’s something of concern. Online chat for mental health could even allow you to get online therapy for free from the privacy of your bedroom.


Travel distance and convenience

Travel distance is a significant concern for many people trying to access mental health services in regional, rural and remote parts of Australia. If you can access a stable internet connection (admittedly not a guarantee for many non-urban areas) online web chat counselling means you don’t have to travel far to get help.

Online counselling can also fit into your schedule. You can engage in online counselling even when you’re away from home, as long as you have access to a suitable device (although it’s recommended that you find a location where you can feel relatively relaxed and that’s free of distractions).


Counselling for people with social anxiety

Another common reason that many people opt for online counselling — and it may surprise you to know this — is due to social anxiety. If you experience strong feelings of anxiety or discomfort at the prospect of face-to-face or over the phone counselling, then digital chat counselling can be an effective alternative.


Who will I talk to during free online mental health chat?

Online counselling is flexible, discreet, convenient, and can be a suitable alternative for people who experience anxiety during traditional face-to-face or phone based counselling.

Importantly, during online chat you will always talk to a mental health professional. All NQ Connect counsellors are paid career counsellors (we do not employ volunteers). This means that you can be confident that the person you chat to is a trained counsellor. To become an NQ Connect counsellor, a staff member must hold a degree of at least three years in a field like psychology, social work, counselling, social science or welfare studies. They must also have completed a minimum of 456 hours of face-to-face counselling experience.

NQ Connect online counsellors are trained to listen and help people work out ways to cope with life’s stresses. Counselling is free to people in northern Queensland and is available 24/7.


Need help? You can find support services in northern Queensland or complete a self-administered K10 test for depression and anxiety. You can also join the online mental health forum to talk with like-minded people.