Kymberly Martin

Trauma counselling support for people with disability

The Blue Knot Foundation is supporting the Disability Royal Commission with a free specialist counselling and referral service for people with disability. The Foundation, the National Centre of Excellence for Complex Trauma in Australia, is providing the trauma-informed service to those who have experienced abuse, neglect, violence and exploitation.


As well as people with disability, their families and carers, the National Counselling and Referral Service, funded by the Commonwealth Government, is providing the service to advocates, service providers and sector workers. The service can be used by anyone, even if they haven’t made a submission, or had prior involvement with the Disability Royal Commission.

Blue Knot Foundation president, Dr Cathy Kezelman, said the Foundation is committed to providing support for people with disability affected by trauma including those experiencing additional stress and anxiety during COVID-19. “Now more than ever we are seeing the need for additional tele-support for people due to the loss of support and advocacy networks,” Kezelman said.

“Over five million adults in Australia have experiences of complex trauma which is repeated ongoing interpersonal trauma and abuse, often from childhood, as an adult, or both. Repeated trauma is more common for people with disability who have significant support needs and face many barriers to participation. It provides an essential gateway to frontline support, counselling, legal and financial services, as well as practical supports,” she said.


The Foundation also provides information and tools to help callers to better manage their stress as well as directing service providers and frontline workers to other resources.

To aid access, the NCRS is available by phone, webchat, video conference and SMS. It also offers free access to the Translating and Interpreting Service and the National Relay Service, supporting people who speak languages other than English, are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment.

Call the NCRS on: 1800 421 468 from 9am – 6pm AEST Monday to Friday; 9am – 5pm AEST Saturday, Sunday and public holidays.

For more information about the National Counselling and Referral Service visit: