National Counselling and Referral Service (NCRS)
Supporting people affected by the Disability Royal Commission. It also supports people who have experienced or witnessed abuse, neglect, violence and exploitation.
The National Counselling and Referral Service is a key trauma-informed support for people with disability, family members, carers, advocates and workers who have experienced or witnessed abuse, neglect, violence and exploitation during these difficult times. Anyone who wishes to access this support does not need to make a submission or have any prior involvement with the Disability Royal Commission.
If you are living with disability (or are a family member of or caring for a person with disability) and
- have experienced abuse, neglect, violence or exploitation
- are currently experiencing abuse, neglect, violence or exploitation
- are distressed or anxious about coronavirus
- are affected by the Disability Royal Commission
You can call the National Counselling and Referral Service on 1800 421 468.
This service operates from:
• 9am-6pm AEST/AEDT Mon-Fri and
• 9am-5pm AEST/AEDT Sat, Sun and public holidays.
It is a specialist service which provides short-term phone counselling support and referrals for people with disability, their families and carers.
Who the service is for:
- people with disabilities who have experienced violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation anywhere
- parents, guardians, other family members of a person with disability
- carers of a person with a disability
- advocates for people with a disability
- service providers or agencies working with people with a disability
- employers or colleagues of a person with disability
What the service provides:
- professional short-term counselling and support
- a gateway to frontline counselling services
- supported transfers to and from the Royal Commission, advocacy and legal support services
- information and referrals about other useful services
- information about trauma and distress and why people can feel overwhelmed
How to contact the National Counselling and Referral Service (NCRS) supporting the Disability Royal Commission
There are a number of different ways you can contact NCRS depending on your accessibility needs, and the type of service you require.
Telephone: Contact 1800 421 468 or 02 6146 1468 to speak with one of our counsellors for short term counselling support and referrals.
Video Conference (VC): VC is available to people who have restrictions around their ability to contact our counsellors via telephone. Please contact us first by email at t firstname.lastname@example.org You can call us yourself or with a support person on 1800 421 468 AEST to discuss accessing this service. This service is available for a single session with a focus on linking you with local and ongoing supports.
Webchat (WC): Webchat is available for people who require support, information or referrals. Webchat is found at the bottom right of the screen on this webpage. It is not a counselling service. Please refer to the Webchat Terms and Conditions for further information should you choose to use this service.
SMS: SMS is available to people who have been in contact with us by phone or webchat and can be used to provide people with information or referrals. SMS contact 0451 266 601. It is not available for counselling support.
N.B. This is a separate service from the Blue Knot Helpline
which provides counselling, support, information to people with experiences of childhood trauma and for support around applications to the National Redress Scheme.
If in crisis, in need of immediate support or concerned for your safety:
Call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
If you are currently experiencing any form of violence or abuse, or are concerned for your safety, call 000.
What you can expect when you call the National Counselling and Referral Service:
- Our counsellors are here to listen and support you
- Everyone’s experience of trauma is different, and everyone has different needs
- Counsellors will provide support in your call based on your needs
- Counsellors can refer you to longer term supports for ongoing counselling
- If you need an advocate, counsellors can refer you to an advocacy service
- Counsellors can also provide information about trauma and its impacts
- We try to answer each call when it rings and usually do
- Sometimes we won’t be able to answer straight away and you will be on hold until the next counsellor becomes available
- If you cannot wait on hold you are welcome to email our counselling team or have a support person email requesting that we call you back and we will do so as soon as possible
If you find it difficult to hear or speak you can contact us through the National Relay Service (NRS). Please phone 133 677.
If you find if challenging to use the telephone, you can contact the National Counselling and Referral Service supporting the Disability Royal Commission using video conferencing. To do so please connect with us first via email at email@example.com or by calling us yourself or with a support person on 1800 421 468 AEST to discuss accessing this service.
If you require support in another language you can use the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) free of charge by:
- Calling the National Counselling and Referral Service and asking for an interpreter. The counsellor will make the arrangements, or
- Calling TIS on 131 450 and asking to be connected to National Counselling and Referral Service on 1800 421 468
The Disability Royal Commission
The Disability Royal Commission was established on 4 April 2019 and will run for three years. It will look at ways to protect people with disability from experiencing violence, abuse neglect and exploitation. To find out more about the Commission visit the Disability Royal Commission's website.
• Disability Royal Commission Support Services website
• Disability Royal Commission Support Services fact sheet
• Disability Royal Commission Support Services fact sheet - Easy Read version
• Disability Royal Commission Support Services fact sheet - Translated versions
• Disability Royal Commission Support Services fact sheet - Auslan version