Frequently Asked Questions

Who can access KYDS’ counselling services?

We support young people aged 10-18 years (or older if students are in Year 12) who live or go to school in Northern Sydney. KYDS can continue to work with clients up until their 19th birthday.

What support does KYDS offer? 

Our counsellors, social workers and psychologists are experienced in addressing various mental health challenges, including trauma, mood and anxiety disorders, suicidal ideation and self-harming behaviours. We also provide support to young people on the autism spectrum, those with disabilities and individuals engaging in high-risk behaviours.

KYDS’ diverse range of counselling interventions include individual counselling, family-based interventions, parenting support, therapeutic group sessions and well-being programs. Our approach is tailored to each young person, using a range of therapeutic techniques, and young people are encouraged to let us know what type of support they would like to receive. We seek to strengthen the links between young people, their families and others in their support network to help them overcome their challenges.

How do I get support from KYDS?

KYDS does not require a GP referral, Mental Health Care Plan or Medicare card.

Young people are welcome to call KYDS directly on 9416 0900 or complete our online form to make an appointment for an intake phone call. This call will allow us to see how we can help.

Parents/carers, school counsellors and staff and other health care professionals can refer a young person to KYDS. Simply call us on 9416 0900 or complete our online form to make an appointment for an intake phone call.

If you are making a booking on behalf of a young person, please fill out the intake form with the full name, date of birth and address of the young person you are referring. Please indicate the most appropriate contact number for the intake call – this may be your own or the parent/carer’s.

We require consent from the young person before we can provide our services and encourage you to talk with them about their willingness to see someone at KYDS. Any potential barriers to a young person’s engagement will be discussed during the intake phone call.

If I were to engage in counselling at KYDS, who would I be speaking to?

Young people who seek counselling at KYDS are under the care of one of our clinical team members, who have experience and qualifications in psychology, counselling or social work.

How much does it cost to receive counselling at KYDS?

KYDS is a free service, made possible by community donations, fundraising efforts and government funding. If you can make a financial contribution towards your session, you will assist us in helping even more young people in our community. You can do this online here.

or by making a cash donation. If you would prefer to make a bank transfer, please contact us for our account details.

How long is the wait time?

Due to high demand for KYDS’ services in recent months, it could take up to 4-6 weeks for an appointment to become available.

We are working hard to reduce the waiting time and appreciate your patience.

KYDS is not a crisis or emergency service. If you or a young person are in immediate risk of harm, please go directly to your nearest hospital Emergency Department (ED), call 000 or contact the Lifeline 13 11 14 crisis support line.

How long is a counselling session?

Sessions generally go for an hour.

Where is KYDS located? 

KYDS operates across various locations in Northern Sydney, with offices in Lindfield, Hornsby, Chatswood, Gordon, St Ives, Avalon, Waitara, and Kirribilli. We also conduct counselling at some school locations. You can view our full list of locations here.

I am a young person. Do my parents need to be informed or engaged?

We appreciate that some people may not want their parent or carer to be involved in the process and will try and understand the reasoning behind this. Based on your situation, we will determine whether parent or carer engagement is appropriate. If it is assessed that parent or carer engagement is not appropriate, a responsible adult or family member will be identified in conjunction with you – consistent with our systemic and holistic approach to providing support.

What happens if I am having a mental health emergency? 

KYDS is not a crisis or emergency service. If you or a young person are in immediate risk of harm, please go directly to your nearest hospital Emergency Department (ED), call 000 or contact the Lifeline 13 11 14 crisis support line.

Do I need a mental health care/treatment plan to engage with the service?

KYDS encourages young people and families to obtain a mental health plan from their local GP. However, if this is not possible, young people will not be turned away – as we are committed to providing barrier-free, easily accessible counselling support for young people within the Northern Sydney region.

I need a formal report and assessment to be completed by a mental health professional. Can KYDS help me with this?

KYDS does not complete formal psychological and/or psychiatric assessments onsite, but we can refer externally to trusted, known or youth friendly contacts. Clinicians do not complete comprehensive psychological reports but can provide supporting documentation to relevant support services and institutions.

Do you have any clinicians with expertise or specialisation in certain needs (especially ASD)?

KYDS has a diverse group of clinicians that can support special circumstances. If the young person has special needs, please include any relevant information when you book an intake call.

What happens if I cannot attend a session?

If you are unable to attend a session, please call us on 02 9416 0900 to let us know the reason you are rescheduling or cancelling your appointment. You may also choose to inform your clinician directly.

We understand that there are unexpected or exceptional circumstances (including sudden illness) that prevent you from providing us with ample notice, but we do ask that you inform us at the earliest opportunity.

What happens if I feel that the clinician and I are not a ‘great fit’? Can I ask for a new clinician?

Our clinicians are all unique (in personality, background, experiences, and approach) – and we understand that you are too!

If you find that you and your clinician are not a ‘good fit,’ we encourage you and/or your parent or carer to have an open conversation about your concerns or provide some feedback about your experiences. Together with your clinician, you may be able to find ways to adjust the approach to better suit your needs.

If you continue to feel the fit is not right, please call us on 02 9416 0900 for a confidential discussion. There may be a wait time if handover to another clinician is required.

How long does counselling go for?

There is no limit to the number of sessions at KYDS. Young people can continue to see their counsellor for as long as they need to.

What should I do if I want to end counselling?

If you would like to end counselling, speak with your clinician directly. Together you will create a termination plan to help ease your transition out of the service. It is likely that your clinician will request a final session to reflect on your time at KYDS, gather feedback on your experience with the service and administer some final forms.

Does KYDS offer additional services?

KYDS runs early-intervention mental health-focused workshops and presentations in school and community settings. We also offer free webinars to parents, carers and school staff throughout the year.

Why is KYDS’ counselling service so important?

KYDS plays an important role in helping young people in Northern Sydney who may need more sustained care for more complex mental health conditions, but do not require assistance from the Child and Youth Mental Health Service (CYMHS). We also offer barrier-free support – counselling is free and no GP referral, Medicare card or mental health care plan is required.

How can I support KYDS’ work?

You can support KYDS in various ways to allow us to continue providing barrier-free mental health support to young people. You can make a one-off donation or join our regular giving program and donate monthly – or make a pre-tax contribution to KYDS through workplace giving. You can organise a fundraising activity or become a community supporter to help raise awareness of our work. You might like to volunteer for KYDS or participate in one of the community events that raises funds for our service. Please take a look at the information available on our website for more details on how you can help.

Have other questions?

If you have any other questions or would like to talk to someone at KYDS,
we are here to help. Please give us a call on 02 9416 0900.