Community Care

ACON’s Support Services are closed between 24 December 2022 to 8 January 2023. If you complete the form below during this period, our intake officer will aim to contact you contact you from 9 January 2023 onwards.

If you need immediate support or information, please see the following services and resources:

  • Emergency assistance: (triple zero) 000
  • Lifeline (24/7 support): 13 11 14
  • QLife (3pm to midnight, anonymous and free peer LGBTI peer support and referral): 1800 184 527
  • Suicide Call Back Service (24/7 phone and online counselling): 1300 659 467
  • NSW Mental Health Access Line (24/7 support to access mental health services): 1800 011 511
  • Kids Helpline: 1800 043 470
  • Rainbow Sexual, Domestic & Family Violence Service Help Line: 1800 385 578
  • 1800RESPECT – 1800 737732 – if you are experiencing violence
  • Alcohol and Drug Information Service: 1800 250 015
  • TransHub – www.transhub.org.au
  • Pivot Point – www.pivotpoint.org.au
  • Ask Izzy – a website that connects people in need with housing, a meal, money help, family violence support, counselling and much more.

Community Care 

We provide free (or very low cost) and confidential counselling, care coordination, peer support and home-based care services to people living with HIV and their families, and LGBTQ+ people. We prioritise people:  

    • Living with or at risk of HIV 
    • At risk of suicide or following a suicide attempt 
    • Who want to manage, reduce, or stop their use of alcohol or drugs 
    • Experiencing sexual, domestic, and family violence 
    • Older LGBTQ+ people who are socially isolated 
    • Who are financially disadvantaged 
    • Who are ineligible for Medicare services  

These services are delivered in person in Sydney, Newcastle and Lismore or via telehealth.  

To access them, you must be 18 years and older, living in NSW, and you must complete a brief intake assessment to ensure you meet the eligibility criteria. Depending on your individual circumstances, you may be asked to contribute a small fee if accessing the LGBTQ+ counselling service.  

These services are proudly funded by NSW Ministry of Health and The Australian Government and have eligibility criteria. 

To make an enquiry or to complete an intake assessment please complete the Intake Form here or call (02) 9206 2000.

HIV Support Counselling 

We provide FREE and confidential counselling to anyone aged 18 years or older living with or affected by HIV including partners, family members and friends. This includes priority follow up for anyone with a recent diagnosis within the past two years and for people seeking HIV prevention information. 

The service provides short term (up to 12 sessions) counselling to assist people to manage their health and wellbeing. Counsellors use a solution focused model drawing on a range of approaches to best meet the needs of individuals and couples. 

For more information or to undertake a brief intake assessment, please contact your nearest ACON office or to make an online enquiry complete the Intake form. 

This service is funded by the NSW Ministry of Health. 

LGBTQ+ Counselling

We provide low-cost confidential short-term counselling (up to 12 sessions) for sexuality and gender diverse people aged 18 years or older seeking support for their mental health and wellbeing.  

Fully qualified volunteer counsellors in Sydney use a solution focused model and a range of other therapeutic approaches to support people to deal with life’s challenges. We also provide a limited number of places with our employed counsellors in the regional offices. 

This service is a low-cost option prioritised for people seeking counselling support who are not eligible for Medicare or have limited resources to access private options. Fees for this service are negotiated according to individual circumstances. 

LGBTQ+ counselling is available via telehealth or in person (in Surry Hills) on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. For appointment options in regional NSW please contact the relevant office.  

This service is not suitable for: 

  • People who use violence 
  • People with unmanaged mental illness 
  • People concerned about their substance use 

For more information or to undertake a brief intake assessment, please contact your nearest ACON office or to make an online enquiry complete the Intake form. 

This service is funded by the NSW Ministry of Health and income generated through fees. 

Substance Support (AOD) Counselling 

We provide FREE and confidential short-term counselling (up to 12 sessions) for people living with HIV and LGBTQ+ people aged 18 years and older seeking support in relation to their use of alcohol and other drugs. 

We work from a harm reduction approach to assist clients to reach their goals to manage use, reduce or quit. 

This service is offered in person in Sydney. It is also available via telehealth for people living in Sydney or across regional NSW. 

For more information or to undertake a brief intake assessment, please contact your nearest ACON office or to make an online enquiry complete the Intake form. 

This service is funded by Central and Eastern Sydney Primary Health Network and the NSW Ministry of Health. 

Care Coordination

We provide FREE and confidential care coordination support for people living with HIV and sexuality and gender diverse people aged 18 years and older with multiple and/or complex needs. Our Care Coordinators are allied health professionals who can help people to: 

  • Access relevant healthcare and support services 
  • Increase their ability to manage their care and treatment 
  • Reduce social isolation 

Needs may relate to: 

  • HIV or sexual health 
  • Mental health 
  • Alcohol and/or drug use 
  • Housing 
  • Family/domestic violence 
  • Finances 
  • Legal 

Care coordinators typically work with clients over three months to develop a care plan and provide support to help them achieve their goals. 

Priority is given to people living with HIV, and people at risk or affected by HIV. 

For more information or to undertake a brief intake assessment, please contact your nearest ACON office or to make an online enquiry complete the Intake form. 

This service is funded by the NSW Ministry of Health and Hunter New England LHD. 

Suicide Prevention and Aftercare

Are you finding yourself thinking or recovering from suicidal thoughts or self-harm? 

Have you recently been discharged from hospital after a suicide attempt? 

We provide a FREE, confidential and state-wide suicide prevention and aftercare service comprising non-judgmental short-term care coordination and counselling support for LGBTQ+ people aged over 18 years of age living in NSW.  

This service is for people who are currently experiencing thoughts of suicide or who have recently made a suicide attempt 

For more information or to undertake a brief intake assessment, please contact your nearest ACON office or to make an online enquiry complete the Intake form. 

This service is proudly funded by the NSW Ministry of Health. 

Mental Health Peer Work

Peer Work is a non-clinical alternative support based on mutual lived experience of suicidal crisis mental health challenges. 

ACON now offers confidential, free and state-wide peer support for sexuality and gender diverse people aged 18 years or older seeking mental health support. 

Our Peer Workers have lived experience of mental distress and can connect with you through their own previous challenges.  They provide non-clinical support as an alternative to, or in addition to ACON’s other services. 

Our peer workers can help people: 

  • Experiencing mental distress 
  • Experiencing suicidal thoughts 
  • Following a suicide attempt 

Peer Workers typically offer support to clients over 3 months. 

This service can take place online or via phone anywhere in NSW or face-to-face in Sydney (Surry Hills) or Newcastle. 

For more information or to connect with the intake team, please contact your nearest ACON office or to make an online enquiry complete the Intake form. 

This service is funded by the NSW Ministry of Health. 

Home-Based Care

 1. Community Visitors Scheme (CVS) 

While loneliness and isolation can affect anyone’s mental health, the impact can be more severe for older people.  

ACON’s CVS aims to reduce social isolation and loneliness, and to build community connection for older LGBTQ+ community members. It does this by arranging volunteer visitors to our older community members to provide friendship and companionship.  

Our trained volunteer visitors provide peer connections, friendship and support to older LGBTQ+ folk. Some activities could include home visits, chat over a cuppa, listen to music, watch a movie or participate in a hobby, game or other activity. 

ACON’s CVS is a FREE service that is funded to operate across the Greater Sydney area.  

This program is available to recipients of Australian Government subsidised Home Care Packages or Residential Aged Care Facility. 

The service is proudly funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health. 

2. Community Support Network 

For more than 30 years our Community Support Network (CSN) program has supported the quality of life, independence, and choices of people living with HIV in New South Wales.  

CSN provides FREE practical assistance to help people living with HIV live as independently as possible in their own homes.  

This program is available to people who have a diagnosis of physical or cognitive impairment as a result of, or in the presence of, HIV infection resulting in impaired capacity for independent living. 

CSN has trained volunteers that offer services around 

  • basic cleaning 
  • gardening 
  • grocery shopping 
  • doing the laundry 
  • meal preparation  
  • transport to and from medical appointments 

This service is proudly funded by the NSW Ministry of Health.  

How to get involved with Home Based Care: 

Recipients: 

If you are interested or would like to refer someone to ACON’s CVS or CSN program please complete the Intake form or email hbcare@acon.org.au or your nearest ACON office. 

A Client Service Officer from the Home-based Care team will undertake an intake assessment and discuss your eligibility and suitability for the programs.  

Potential volunteers: 

If you would like to volunteer for ACON’s CVS or CSN program, please complete the form  at Volunteer at ACON or email hbcare@acon.org.au for any queries.