Employee assistance program

Confidential counselling services

The University of Wollongong provides confidential counselling services designed to enhance the emotional, mental and general psychological well-being of employees through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). All UOW employees and members of their immediate family have access to qualified counsellors via face to phone consultations to assist with a range of work or personal issues that might be impacting their lives. To arrange a consultation with a counsellor please call 1300 361 008 or use the online live chat function on the LifeWorks website where you can make a booking, request an alternative appointment time or ask any general questions. 

After hours or telephone consultations are available upon request.

The EAP is provided by an external organisation, LifeWorks, who specialises in the provision of EAP services to government and private organisations including other universities.

What happens when a UOW employee contacts EAP?

Every day, almost 1,500 organisations place their trust in LifeWorks by Morneau Shepell to manage the wellbeing of employees across Australia through access to high quality employee assistance services.

Initial contact guide

Managers Assistance Hotline

The Manager Hotline provides UOW managers and supervisors access to a telephone based ‘helpline’ for brief support and advice on people related issues.

For more information contact 1300 361 008

Managers assistance

Lifeworks online platform

The University’s Employee Assistance Program provider, LifeWorks, has recently created a highly engaging tech platform to reach individuals earlier through social connection, physical fitness, financial support and mental health tools to help you proactively take control of your well-being. This application can be accessed via desktop or mobile.

The LifeWorks app is a well-being platform that has a number of benefits including:

  • 24/7 counselling
  • Wellbeing support content in the form of videos, PDF and audio (example: 5 Pillars of Financial Health)
  • Individual employee accounts – Personalisation of your EAP account on web or mobile app will significantly increase engagement and utilisation of LifeWorks EAP services, empowering and benefiting employees.
  • Exclusive offers that can save you money across a number of brands and retailers including travel, food, entertainment and personal care
  • Health risk assessments and fitness challenges that sync with Apple Health and your favourite wearable technology

Staff are able to log in to the LifeWorks online platform with their UOW credentials.  

Frequently asked questions

Q. Are there multiple methods of counselling?

Yes, LifeWorks offers telephone counselling or "counselling in a click" real time, online 1 on 1 counselling.

Q. At what times can I contact LifeWorks?

Appointments can be made by contacting 1300 361 008 Monday to Friday between 8:30am to 6:30pm. An after hours telephone crisis support service has been set up to support clients who require crisis support between 7pm and 8am.

Q. Do I pay for the service?

The University fully subsidises the Employee Assistance Program.

Q. Does LifeWorks provide support for the LGBTIQ+ community?

Yes, LifeWorks clinicians are trained in LGBTIQ+ issues and many have self-identified as LGBTIQ+. For people identifying as LGBTIQ, our counsellors ensure that if the presenting issues are related to their sexual orientation or gender identification (particularly in their workplace) these are explored and discussed and form the basis for the counselling sessions.

Q. How can I organise a consultation?

Simply call LifeWorks on 1300 361 008, this will get you to the LifeWorks Contact Centre. The LifeWorks service representatives are trained to conduct a thorough assessment and guide clients to the most appropriate service. They will recommend a counsellor with the expertise in the areas you are wishing to address and facilitate the booking.

Q. Is there anything I should consider or prepare before my initial counselling appointment?

If you have made an appointment to see a counsellor and you feel uncomfortable going on your own you are welcome to bring a partner, friend or family member with you. They can provide support and help you remember what was said during the session.

Give yourself plenty of time, arriving 10-15 minutes before your counselling session can assist in managing some of the anxieties you may be experiencing before the session. It is often parking, travel arrangements, and finding office locations that can add to the stress of your first appointment.

Before your appointment, write down some of the things you would like to explore during the session. You may want to write them down in order of importance to you. What do you hope to get out of the counselling? Sometimes it can be challenging, sometimes cathartic or a release, sometimes revealing and sometimes demanding These are all quite normal thoughts and feelings to be having and the counsellor will support you through this process.

Practice defining how much you feel something; for example on a scale of 1 to 10 how happy/sad/anxious/depressed and so forth do you feel at any given moment.

If something is said during your appointment that you don’t understand, don’t be afraid to ask the person to explain what they mean. Feel free to check - it is your session after all.

Q. What about confidentiality?

All telephone calls are confidential and your conversation is not recorded, so you can have trust in the person taking your call. Confidentiality is guaranteed, LifeWorks is completely independent of the University and no information about you will be disclosed without your permission.

Q. What happens when I call LifeWorks to make an appointment?

It is recommended that you call from a private location free from disruptions. Additionally it is recommended that you select a time to call when you are feeling composed or less distressed so that you can clearly talk through the issues affecting you.

The LifeWorks Service representative will perform an initial assessment with you over the phone takes between 5-10 minutes. They will ask you to give a brief overview of your issue and will assess the level of risk attached to your issue. Based on this information they will recommend a counselling service suitable for you. These are standard questions asked of all people ringing in to make an appointment and helps LifeWorks link you in with the most appropriate service.

You will need to provide the service representative with certain personal details including your phone number so they can contact you. Additionally LifeWorks will send a reminder SMS 48 hours prior to your appointment if you wish. You will need to take note any instructions the service representative gives to you.

LifeWorks can experience heavy call volumes and recommend that you stay on the line when you are on hold. Making an appointment to see a counsellor for the first time may be difficult but remember the service representative is understanding and is there to support you with your appointment request.

If you are unsure about any point made by the service representative don’t be afraid to seek clarification, they are there to support you with your appointment booking and finding the right service for you. Prior to the call ending, you should feel that someone has actively listened to you; given you support; and pointed you in the right direction for getting the right support through the Employee Assistance Program.

Q. What type of counselling is provided by the EAP?

LifeWorks bases its counselling approach on a short term model. LifeWorks counsellors provide emotional support and explore possible strategies that will assist you re-balance your life as soon as possible. LifeWorks counsellors are also trained to provide support to those who may have experience, or be experiencing domestic and family violence.