Discover more about email counselling exchanges

Email counselling exchanges (ECE) have the same principles as in-person appointments on campus and video counselling. It is an effective opportunity to discuss personal issues with a counsellor who will attempt to understand and help you consider any changes you want to make in your life. Instead of an appointment on-campus in person, emails are exchanged between you and a counsellor. It is a flexible and effective medium to seek help as you write emails in a time most convenient to you.

Is email counselling suitable for you?

Some students find it difficult to attend in-person appointments or even make time for video sessions for a variety of reasons such as being a Digital Campus student, attending placement, having family and work commitments or they don't quite feel ready to talk to someone in person.

If you are already connected to our support and seeing a counsellor at our service, please do not use ECE until you are finished with your in-person counselling or video sessions.

Please note that ECE is not suitable if you need more intensive or urgent support, such as having suicidal thoughts or enduring mental health difficulties. If so, please contact us so we can find a more suitable way to support you.

Secure, confidential and private

Your privacy and confidentiality is very important to us. We only allow email counselling exchanges using ProtonMail, which is a free encrypted email provider. ProtonMail is widely regarded as the most secure email provider in the world, using complete end-to-end encryption. The powerful end-to-end encryption feature protects every email you send, up to the moment the recipient opens it.

The servers of ProtonMail are based in Switzerland, a country with very strict privacy laws, which means your data is safe and secure. Also, the email can only be viewed by you and the recipient. Lastly, ProtonMail never logs IP addresses, which means that your online privacy is absolutely guaranteed.

ProtonMail is very user-friendly and setting up a free account only takes a few minutes. It is available on iOS, Android and as a web version.

Flexible and convenient

You don't need to stick to the weekly schedule—some of the students who use this service wait two to three weeks between each email exchange. In addition, some students get what they need from two exchanges, so you don't need to use the allocated six exchanges. You can stop using the service at any time, but please let us know when you do, so we can ask for some feedback and ask you to fill in a post-counselling questionnaire.

Things change—if your situation changes during exchanges and you feel you need more urgent support or help, please contact Counselling and Wellbeing via phone or make an in-person appointment. We can then arrange more appropriate support for your needs. In addition, take note of our crisis support options.

Duration

Once you are registered and connected, you can have a maximum of six email exchanges with a counsellor during a calendar year. The counsellor will use seven days (notwithstanding unforeseen circumstances) to respond to your email, however they will usually respond sooner. If you continue to require our support after six exchanges, we may suggest other counselling options to help you feel better, such as in-person or video counselling sessions.

Documentation

There may be times when personal difficulties impact negatively on your academic performance. Due to this, you may need to apply for flexible arrangements such as extensions, deferred examinations, special consideration, withdrawal due to special circumstances or a leave of absence. The role of the counselling and wellbeing service is to provide counselling and documentation may only be provided at the counsellor's discretion.

Confidentiality

We maintain confidentiality and will not disclose anything to anybody about you unless you ask us to do so, give permission to do so, we are required by law or there are compelling reasons such as significant risk to you or someone else. We keep confidential documents securely for the required number of years after your last contact with us. Your email exchanges will only be handled by your counsellor and kept securely and privately on our data system. Our data system is separate and independent from the Griffith University student data system.

Evaluation

Your progress using email exchanges is evaluated by asking you to complete a brief questionnaire at the end of each month that you have used the service. Your responses are anonymous and confidential. We do this to ensure that our service is helping you and other students. If you feel that it is not helping, please let us know so we can find other options that are more suitable to help you feel better.

How to use Email Counselling Exchanges

Be specific

Use the service for a specific issue or aspect that you want to explore or get help with in your life. Due to the limited nature of the service, it helps you to be specific about the help that you want from us. That way we can help you better.

Write in detail

Write long messages rather than short ones. In order for your counsellor to give detailed ways of how things can improve for you, it is important for them to have information. Try to give detailed and considered responses to questions and when you are telling your story. This way the help and support is more tailored so you hopefully feel better sooner.

Spend time

Set aside 30–60 minutes to write your email without distractions, so you can describe your situation the best you can. Research suggest that the more consideration about what you write and how many words you use (up to 500), the more effective the help your counsellor can provide.

How to access email exchanges

Accessing ECE is simple process, involving only a few steps.

1. Carefully read the information about ECE on this page.

2. Set up a free ProtonMail email account. It only takes a few minutes.

3. Register for email counselling exchanges in the form below.

After you have registered, a counsellor will contact you via your ProtonMail account to start your counselling exchanges. All exchanges will occur via that email account to maintain your confidentiality and privacy.

Register for email counselling exchanges

Please complete the registration form for email counselling exchanges. We want to make sure this is the most helpful service we can provide you. A counsellor will contact you within two business days to start your exchanges. At times, we may recommend that you will benefit more from other services we provide, such as in-person sessions or video counselling appointments. This service is not suitable if you are in urgent need of assistance. You can explore our crisis and urgent need support options.

Please set up your ProtonMail email account before completing the registration process.

Required fields are marked with an asterisk (*).
Your details
You must have set up a free ProtonMail email account before completing this form. If you haven't, please scroll up and read the information to do so.
Improving Outcomes for Students
Evaluation questionnaire To help us have a deeper understanding of how we can help you and other students better, we ask you kindly for permission to send you a brief questionnaire once per month. Your responses to the questionnaire will only take a few minutes to complete and will be anonymous. If you do not want to complete it you will still be able to use our service and you will not be disadvantaged in any way. By checking the box, you give permission to send you a brief questionnaire about how you like our services and whether you think they are helping you.
Confidentiality
Counselling confidentiality agreement * Counselling and wellbeing service maintains confidentiality and do not disclose anything to anybody about you unless you ask us to do so and this is agreed at interview, you give us written permission, we are required by law or when there are compelling reasons, such as significant risk to you or someone else. We keep confidential documents for the required number of years after last contact as required by law.
Privacy
Privacy Plan Agreement * Your privacy is important to us. The information you supply is confidential. For a copy of our privacy policy, go to Privacy Plan.

Need to know more?

If you have any questions about email counselling exchanges, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us.

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