Solicitor Outreach Service (SOS)
1800 592 296
A dedicated and confidential counselling service for NSW solicitors.
The Solicitor Outreach Service (SOS) is available to solicitors who hold a current practising certificate from the Law Society of NSW.
SOS is only available to NSW solicitors.
You can access SOS irrespective of where you are located. Treatment may be provided in person, over the phone or via video-conferencing technology, depending on your individual circumstances.
In Australia, psychologists are registered health professionals. Psychologists have completed university training and professional supervision, and they are registered with the Psychology Board of Australia and listed with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.
Psychologists need to satisfy yearly requirements to maintain their registration status. Psychologists must also adhere to strict professional standards and code of ethics.
Psychologists use evidence-based strategies to help people cope with emotional, work, stress, relationship, addiction, mental health and other difficulties.
You can access SOS for any concern or difficulty that you may be experiencing, personal or professional.
Yes, engagement with SOS is confidential. Although SOS is an initiative of the Law Society of NSW, the services are being delivered by third party provider, PeopleSense by Altius. PeopleSense will not be sharing any information with the Law Society of NSW which could identify solicitors accessing SOS.
As part of the psychological services provided, the psychologist will need to collect and record personal information relevant to your situation. Psychologists must comply with strict regulations around privacy and confidentiality.
To ensure that SOS is meeting the broad mental health and wellbeing needs of NSW solicitors, PeopleSense will be providing the Law Society of NSW with de-identified and aggregated reports. These reports will not contain any individual or identifiable information.
Please discuss any questions about confidentiality directly with PeopleSense, by phoning 1800 592 296.
Each NSW solicitor can access up to three psychology counselling sessions per financial year, as well as immediate access to crisis counselling if in distress, paid for by the Law Society of NSW.
The psychologists employed by PeopleSense are registered with Medicare. Depending on your individual circumstances, you may be able to access Medicare-subsidised treatment with the same psychologist outside SOS with a referral from your GP under the Medicare Better Access to Mental Health Care initiative. More information is available here.
You do not need a referral from your GP to access SOS. However, you will need to consult with your GP if you wish to access Medicare-subsidised treatment outside SOS. More information is available here.
If you need support, are struggling to carry-out day-to-day activities or have experienced difficulties coping for two weeks or more, consider seeking professional support.
The crisis counselling is primarily intended for people experiencing acute distress or thinking about suicide.
It is common to feel nervous or uncomfortable to begin with. These feelings often abate once treatment has commenced. During the initial session, the psychologist will ask questions so they can understand your situation and develop a customised treatment plan.
Psychology is talking therapy. Psychological treatment is a collaborative process, and results can take time and effort. Psychology tends to be goal directed and solution focused. You may be asked to identify treatment goals, to complete tasks outside of session and to report back on these within session. People generally require multiple sessions before noticing changes/improvements.
This is the service offered via SOS. However, there are a range of other services that provide crisis support, mental health resources and online programs. You can find out more about some of these services here. There are also many privately operated mental health services. Your GP may recommend someone, or the Australian Psychological Society has an online directory which can be used to locate a psychologist via location or presenting issue.
The psychology services funded by the Law Society and which are provided as part of SOS are being delivered by PeopleSense by Altius. The Law Society is unable to offer funding or reimbursement for psychological sessions delivered by other service providers.
Disclaimer: The Law Society of NSW does not warrant, guarantee or provide any representation in respect of the services provided by PeopleSense by Altius as part of the Solicitor Outreach Service. The Law Society of NSW is not liable in relation to any aspect of the services which PeopleSense by Altius may provide to you. The Law Society of NSW shall not be liable for any damages or costs of any type arising out of or in any way connected with any use of these services by any person. The general information provided by the Law Society of NSW about the Solicitor Outreach Service is not advice and should not be treated as such. This information is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. Please consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider for advice about a medical condition.